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Archive for Thursday, July 28, 2011

Bank starts foreclosure proceedings against Douglas County Sheriff Ken McGovern’s home

July 28, 2011

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An attorney for U.S. Bank last Friday filed a civil suit seeking a mortgage foreclosure on the west Lawrence home of Douglas County Sheriff Ken McGovern, according to Douglas County District Court records.

The suit alleges McGovern and his wife, Rebecca F. McGovern, the owners of 4029 Harvard Road, are in default and have failed since Feb. 1 to make payments due under the 2009 note and mortgage. The McGoverns owe $161,726 with interest, according to the suit. A legal notice of the suit appeared in Thursday’s Journal-World.

“Since my wife and I had been in discussion for some time to resolve this situation, we were surprised the bank took this legal step without informing us,” McGovern said. “Being a personal financial matter, I won’t go into much detail other than to say my wife owns a small business, and the family finances are affected by her small business.”

Rebecca McGovern owns a Lawrence salon and spa.

“As is the case with many small businesses in these economic times, her business is struggling, which impacts our personal finances,” he said. “Because of our cooperative discussions with the bank, we are confident this legal action will be dismissed.”

Assistant Douglas County Administrator Sarah Plinsky said McGovern’s current salary is $118,518.40. McGovern, a longtime sheriff’s officer who has served in virtually every facet of the department since 1982, was elected without opposition in 2004, and he won a second term in 2008, also as an uncontested candidate.

According to county records, the sheriff office’s proposed budget for 2012 is about $10.3 million. County officials estimate the sheriff’s 2011 budget will come in $276,025 less than the $10.48 million initially budgeted. Plinsky said McGovern’s office also came in under its allocated budget in 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2010.

The sheriff’s office also oversees the sale process of foreclosed properties if a mortgage foreclosure reaches that point.

McGovern said that in the last three years his office, due to the financial crisis, has seen a major increase in the number of sheriff’s sales scheduled: 336 in 2010 compared with 151 in 2007. Last year 110 property owners were able to resolve their situations before they ended in a sale, he said.

“My own situation has brought me to a deeper personal understanding of the effect the current economic downturn has had on the citizens of Douglas County,” he said. “I and my staff will continue to effectively and efficiently serve the people of Douglas County and in doing so be sensitive to their needs.”

Online Douglas County District Court records show three previous civil suits filed by Chase Mortgage Co. against Ken and Rebecca McGovern in 1999, 2000 and 2001 — before he was elected sheriff — but all were dismissed within a month.

Comments

ddhawkfan 3 years, 4 months ago

... Seriously??? Guess its all a matter of who you are... Pretty sure if it was anyone else that isn't law enforcement we would be looking for a new place to live...

MISTERTibbs 3 years, 4 months ago

And you would be wrong. In fact he will have, just like any other citizen of this state, six months AFTER the sale is held (should it get that far) to find alternative financing and payoff the high bidder.

ivalueamerica 3 years, 4 months ago

seriously ddhawkfan, you should know what the heck you are talking about before making wild accusations.

You appear foolish.

buzzoff 3 years, 4 months ago

Really??? Obviously you aren't spending enough time watching your neighobrs..... or you would have more insight. Sad you live such a pathetic life watching others.

tecuani 3 years, 4 months ago

I live near the Ken and his wife and I know the sheriff. Unless there is something going on in the back yard, their "landscaping" appears no more extravagant than any of the other houses on that stretch of Harvard.

In fact, I was riding by on my bike and couldn't recognize their house, even though I had been in it a few times and see him outside frequently.

They hardly live in an extravagant villa with private gardens and fountains and unicorns as you describe.

buzzoff 3 years, 4 months ago

you made your point...your nosey and jealous they obviously have talent at decorating, landscaping and construction and according tecuani they obviously do most of this with their own skills. get a life.

frank mcguinness 3 years, 4 months ago

I think you meant Sizzors on Lawrence and 6th. Unless her business is registered in the state of kansas as Lawrence salon and spa, in which case no one would ever know.

Steve Jacob 3 years, 4 months ago

I would normally say someones home being foreclosed is none of our business, but he is an elected official. Running your own business is tough in this economy, sometime you have to bail before things get really bad. Sometimes you can dig yourself out of a hole, sometimes the hole gets deeper.

Belinda Rehmer 3 years, 4 months ago

Very disappointing this is even a story. Not my business nor yours. Just sayin

MarcoPogo 3 years, 4 months ago

So what about marriage licenses, divorces granted, obituaries, estate sales, etc.? Are they off limits as well? I'm just wondering where the line is.

domovik 3 years, 4 months ago

Someone's private business is their own. It shouldn't matter or be necessary to publicize marriage licenses, divorce grants, etc. Pay for something to be advertised if you want it published. My business is not yours and the thought goes both ways.

boltzmann 3 years, 4 months ago

Does he have to then show up and evict himself?

Jean Robart 3 years, 4 months ago

wish I had the chance to try and live on $118,000 a year

hail2oldku 3 years, 4 months ago

"...part of what we elected him for. To manage the law enforcement budget. "

"According to county records, the sheriff office’s proposed budget for 2012 is about $10.3 million. County officials estimate the sheriff’s 2011 budget will come in $276,025 less than the $10.48 million initially budgeted. Plinsky said McGovern’s office also came in under its allocated budget in 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2010."

It would appear he is doing that part of his job just fine.

Next.

Amy Albright 3 years, 4 months ago

Sounds like a nice man who will have an even deeper ability to empathize with the people he serves notices to. It's hard times right now, and I can't believe people are being snarky and judgmental about something many of us are likely a few paychecks away from. Best of luck to the McGoverns.

LawrenceRez 3 years, 4 months ago

What does emphathy matter? They are going to take someones house whether or not they like it... And, just because someone can relate wouldn't make me feel any better about losing my home...

avoice 3 years, 4 months ago

dougnamy, you have the right attitude. Empathy does matter. In fact, in the big scheme of things, it matters more than anything else.

LawrenceRez 3 years, 4 months ago

$118,000 salary and they can't make payments on a mortgage of $161,726. All I can say is odd... His salary for one year represents 72.9% of the total outstanding mortgage.

LawrenceRez 3 years, 4 months ago

I'm glad you know the extent of my knowledge... Thanks for your pithy commentary...

LawrenceRez 3 years, 4 months ago

Do you have a clue to what solvency and liquidity is? Most people and businesses that have stable finances surely understand those concepts...

LawrenceRez 3 years, 4 months ago

I think your right... Gvnobas is probably not sure how to google those two concepts... LOL

LawrenceRez 3 years, 4 months ago

If he can't manage his own finances I have a hard time believing that the department finances/budgets are being spent wiesly...

Kendall Simmons 3 years, 4 months ago

No...I'd bet that most people (and many smaller businesses) that have stable finances would have no idea what "solvency and liquidity" mean.

Now...if you explained those concepts to them, they'd likely see how they relate to their own lives.

But, you know what? If you explained them to people who did not have stable finances, most would also understand how they relate to their own lives.

Food_for_Thought 3 years, 4 months ago

I won't claim to know the McGovern family's personal expenses, but have you ever considered the possibility of one or more family members with high medical expenses? What about taxes? $161,726 is more than likely GROSS annual income. Also, his wife's business likely is leasing the building it operates from. If business is bad, the income may not be enough to cover the business' operating expenses. Just something to think about...

Amy Heeter 3 years, 4 months ago

I don't Think this needed to be printed as a headline. Sorry to hear ken is having problems though.

teller 3 years, 4 months ago

I've never understood why things like this appear in the paper in the first place. Since it is, I feel it should have been noted like all the other notices, but feel in no way it should have been highlighted as a separate article. Because, really, all other notices do not have their own story. With the economic times being so hard right now, I don't see how any of us have a place to say something negative about the next, seeing as though most of us are in the same predicament, living paycheck to paycheck just to make ends meet. I can't understand why we can't be a more supportive community. Worry about your own finances.

buzzoff 3 years, 4 months ago

I agree. This article is a waste of space...LJW must be desperate.

bevy 3 years, 4 months ago

I was wondering what the paragraphs about the amounts in the budget for the Sheriff's office have to do with the story? This is happening to all kinds of people all over the nation. Those who are snarky and judgemental should try walking a mile or two in the Sheriff's boots. Good luck to his family.

irvan moore 3 years, 4 months ago

i think he's a pretty darn good sheriff and that is about the extent of my interest, it will probably straighten itself out and there is no reason to embarass him and his family.

Bob Forer 3 years, 4 months ago

Unless, of course, a lot of his paycheck has been directed toward's his wife's floundering business. The article tells us nothing about that. Perhaps she choose out of the goodness of her heart to retain long-time employees with mouths to feed rather than give them the proverbial pink slip. Until we know more--and we probably will never learn the whole story as it is none of our business--commenting on the character of the McGoverns is plainly rank and malicous gossip. Have some decency.

LawrenceRez 3 years, 4 months ago

If you have a floundering business then why would you try to prop it up?

Kendall Simmons 3 years, 4 months ago

To get it through the rough time and out the other end into prosperity? Of course, I wouldn't sacrifice my home for my business...unless I had invented something amazing that was just about ready to take off.

Bob Forer 3 years, 4 months ago

Unless, of course, a lot of his paycheck has been directed toward's his wife's floundering business. The article tells us nothing about that. Perhaps she choose out of the goodness of her heart to retain long-time employees with mouths to feed rather than give them the proverbial pink slip. Until we know more--and we probably will never learn the whole story as it is none of our business--commenting on the character of the McGoverns is plainly rank and malicous gossip. Have some decency.

LawrenceRez 3 years, 4 months ago

I made that point earlier and someone actually didn't see anything wrong with that... Crazy stuff...

jdjj 3 years, 4 months ago

Or maybe...they owe a remaining 160K on a mortgage that was significantly higher. Maybe they can't refinance. I imagine he is paying significantly more than 1000K/month for his mortgage. But on an unrelated note - I went to sizzors once and wouldn't return. I loved Cassie, the lady who did my hair, but the owner (who i presume is Mrs. McGovern) did nothing but gossip and bash people as soon as they left. I am not a picky gal, but I have just had much much better experiences elsewhere. Her daughter, who has a unique name that I cannot remember, did not seems to be following in her mother's footsteps. I had a lot of work done on my hair and had to endure them for almost 3 hours. Made me wish I had gone to the beauty school - at least their gossip is entertaining and a lot less malicious.

jdjj 3 years, 4 months ago

Sorry.. I meant her daughter is following in her mother's footsteps. My proofreading is terrible!

lunacydetector 3 years, 4 months ago

true housing values have declined 30%+ in lawrence. if someone has an adjustable rate mortgage like a 5/1 arm, the bank will want a minimum of 20% down. if someone paid $230k for a house that is now only worth $160k they'd need $32,000 just to refi. time to walk away. how many years will it take to recoup $70k in lost equity and initial down payment plus an additional $32k when you lost your ass on already? time to walk away people.

rockchalk9erschiefshawk 3 years, 4 months ago

This issue was posted because ol' Dolph owns this rag. Seems that whenever there is a money issue regarding somone, or something in Lawrence, be it how much you have, how much you are going to get, how you got it, he has to know about it, and report it. I mean hell, I thought Gladys Kravitz died years ago, but I was wrong, she is still snooping. ABNER!!!! And another thing, the Sheriffs Office budget doesn't have a thing to do with his personal matter, not ONE DADGUM THING. (borrowed the dadgum from ol' Roy) This is why a good number of people refer to the paper as " The Urinal World". Keeps me regular :-)

friendlyjhawk 3 years, 4 months ago

Gladys Kravitz is alive and well in many people in Lawrence. Most of them post on this forum.

BruceWayne 3 years, 4 months ago

Dolph will report this, but years later won't touch the rabid zebra story. We deserve to know the truth...who owned the zebra?

ljwhirled 3 years, 4 months ago

I agree, who owned the Zebra? Why was the Zebra not confined? What was the kid paid to keep quite?

I want to know more about the zebra! Aggressive zebras are running around Douglas County and all I read about is some poor schmuck who got upside down a couple months on his mortgage.

What is this world coming to when the rich can own attack zebras and blithely walk away when they savage an employee!

teller 3 years, 4 months ago

“My own situation has brought me to a deeper personal understanding of the effect the current economic downturn has had on the citizens of Douglas County,” he said. “I and my staff will continue to effectively and efficiently serve the people of Douglas County and in doing so be sensitive to their needs.”

I have to commend him for not being selfish and thinking about how others in the community have been effected by the economy also. Nice of him to recognize the trials ALL of us face during these times and how all situations are a reminder for us ALL to be sensitive to everyone's needs.

skinny 3 years, 4 months ago

Ya, this is pretty wild and typical of the LJWorld. They won't print the arrest log or the court logs like every other paper in Kansas but they'll print this crap. Makes you wonder!

ljwhirled 3 years, 4 months ago

Bella Sera is going under soon? Do tell.

thebigspoon 3 years, 4 months ago

It already has. There was a story in the paper a while back. The bank has control of it now.

akt2 3 years, 4 months ago

Arm chair financialists and another slow news day....

sherbert 3 years, 4 months ago

Anyone who owns a small business now knows exactly what they're going through. There but for the grace of God go I.

Bud Stagg 3 years, 4 months ago

Idiots, It's not about mortgage payments, it's about the business payments. They probably used the house as collateral for the business loan. She's probably not making those loan payments.

Bob Forer 3 years, 4 months ago

You may be right. In that case, good luck to the bank. I doubt there is much equity, if any, in the house, and they may in fact be the second lien holder, in which case the first lien holder gets their money first.

vermont 3 years, 4 months ago

My apologies for beating a dead horse here but this story is just plain inappropriate. This issue is nobody's business but the family involved. We all have strikes and gutters, ups and downs and the LJW needs to do a better job of respecting the privacy of the citizens of Lawrence and it's readership. I and several friends and acquaintances that have, on several occasions, been disappointed with print that involves these sorts of personal issues. We can print legal issues in a matter of fact way as the law requires but this is blatant exploitation of people who have fallen on hard times.

InspectorJo 3 years, 4 months ago

Well put Vermont! These are hard times for everyone, a sheriff, a waitress, ss receipient, the list goes on and on. My mama always said, "if you have nothing good to say, you best keep your damn mouth shut!" God, do I love and miss my mama!

I send positive thoughts and prayers out to the McGovern's and the many hundred thousand of other families dealing with these issues at this time too.

Ken and Rebecca, thank you for just happening to come up on the roll over accident a few years back and thank you for providing love, patients, caring and calmness to that group of 5 teenage kids. I thank my blessing everyday that it was the two of you that were there to comfort my daughter when I was not there. God had a major hand in the events that night, everyone still remembers the love and caring that you two offered. May this love and caring return to your family ten fold.

God Bless! Thank YOU!!!!!

Clevercowgirl 3 years, 4 months ago

Right now, banks are calling notes, even if they are being paid regularly. It is all about complying with the lending guidlines. Today, you have to make more money to qualify for a loan than even 2 years ago. Also, commercial loans are being called right and left. Let's hope that their lender(s) have lost the loan documents. That seems to be the only way to stop a foreclosure presently.

As a side note, both husband and wife are probably on the Salon loan(s). So they are both in hot water. No reason to blame the Missus.

droppinplates 3 years, 4 months ago

The McGoverns are not the only ones dealing with foreclosure in Lawrence. So, can I expect to read about another family's personal finances soon? That's not going to happen, and while I understand the LJW feeling it's prudent because the guy's a public official, it's still in bad taste.

This reminds me of the constant, daily articles on Brady Morningstar's DUI a few years ago. The lesson here is this: If you are a well known figure in Lawrence, and you mess up to any degree, the LJW will out you and relentlessly pursue your public destruction through their newspaper.

tecuani 3 years, 4 months ago

Oh give me a break. What a fool you are.

I know Ken, and if he says it is because of his wife's salon and spa, then I believe him.

They don't live in a huge house in a really nice part of town, they live on Harvard, just west of Monterrey Way. Drive by there some time. Every house looks the same, nothing special about them.

This is a common occurrence in this atmosphere. He isn't receiving special treatment. He isn't getting a break.

It just reinforces why I like him as our sheriff so much. He is a normal guy, who thinks like a normal guy and treats people, especially those that have been through tragedy, like a human being. With respect and compassion.

tanaumaga 3 years, 4 months ago

I don't think the sheriff's loan issues and Brady Morningstar's drunk driving are comparable. Bradys lucky he didn't rap himself around a pole. Who knows though, he might like pole.

shortone 3 years, 4 months ago

“My own situation has brought me to a deeper personal understanding of the effect the current economic downturn has had on the citizens of Douglas County,” he said. “I and my staff will continue to effectively and efficiently serve the people of Douglas County and in doing so be sensitive to their needs.”

This statement implies the Sheriff was not sensitive to people in these situations before besides it sounding like someone generated this statement for him! Great, it takes him close to losing his home to be more sensitive and to direct his staff to be more sensitive?

The Sheriff is in charge of a budget, if you don't make good decisions with your own personal finances why should we allow him to take charge of the county's budget?

tecuani 3 years, 4 months ago

Uh, read the article.

The DGSO budget is frequently under what it is allocated since Ken came into office. I think it is a credit to him and his department that they are able to do so while having to run the jail as well as manage what is one of the most populated counties in Kansas.

Consider costs in overtime for deputies at the jail and on the road, upkeep of the jail and their own offices downtown. Gas prices and maintenance on vehicles.

It would be easy for a lesser man, probably you shortone, to use all the money allocated just so he can point to it the next year and say "Its not enough!".

We are lucky to have Ken, and I would gladly vote for him again.

ljwhirled 3 years, 4 months ago

Hey, sometimes getting upside down on the mortgage is a good decision. For example, if you have a medical bill that needs to be paid right now, or if you have IRS issues that are about to result in a tax lien.

Without the details this is just speculation. The economy sucks, he isn't in bankruptcy. Give them the benefit of the doubt.

whats_going_on 3 years, 4 months ago

Half of that money probably goes into upkeeping that salon. It is ridiculously "fancy" and there is just stuff everywhere...decorations, designer items, etc. It's like Nell Hills West hits a NYC salon. And of course it isn't doing well, not everyone can afford 50 bucks for a bang trim.

whats_going_on 3 years, 4 months ago

Half of that money probably goes into upkeeping that salon. It is ridiculously "fancy" and there is just stuff everywhere...decorations, designer items, etc. It's like Nell Hills West hits a NYC salon. And of course it isn't doing well, not everyone can afford 50 bucks for a bang trim.

1julie1 3 years, 4 months ago

This comment is just so stupid it hardly bears commenting on (especially since you had to post it twice).

But really! Have you been there? I doubt it. Nobody (including this spa) charges $50 for a bang trim.

I have been there and I have been in other salons around town. It's not ridiculously fancy, it's what you'd expect in a spa. It has a nice atmosphere and the employees have always been kind and considerate and helpful to anyone (of any age - and I'm not in the youngest bunch of customers they've ever served).

I can only afford to go for a pedicure once a year as a special treat, but their charges for all services seem to be in line with everybody else.

With your attitude I doubt anyone would want to see you come in as a customer anywhere.

lawslady 3 years, 4 months ago

Anyone who has ever met or knows our sheriff likes him, unless of course you are breaking the law. He's a good guy and we are lucky to have him as our sheriff. That kind of job typically doesn't attract someone with his personality. Anyone who casts stones at him for being in finanicial trouble should be careful; all too soon it may be you (if it isn't already). This economy is about to tank, in my opinion, in ways no one alive has ever seen. Get ready to start living with your extended family, digging for water wells, learning to hunt/trap/fish, weave and sew your clothing, and grow your own food.

northtowngrl 3 years, 4 months ago

Hmm. Maybe its time to for Tabitha to come in and do a salon makeover to save the business and the house. Hey it could happen!

Charles L Bloss Jr 3 years, 4 months ago

It really disturbs me when a person's job, no matter what it is, is used to put that person down. That is not being fair. There are always people who do not like cops, but using the Sheriff's elected position to make comments against him in a matter which is personal is wrong. I have never met the Sheriff, I wrote him once and never received an answer. He is a busy guy, so I forgot it. If he was a plumber, carpenter, teacher or any other profession, there would not be anywhere near as many negative comments about his personal financial business. In fact I don't think it is newsworthy either. Thank you, Lynn

Carol Bowen 3 years, 4 months ago

I really do not want to know this. Give the family some privacy!

wyattearp2 3 years, 4 months ago

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