Last updated: September 26. 2013 11:04AM - 5909 Views
Dylan Lightfoot Staff Writer dlightfoot@jeffersonpost.com

Ashe County Commissioner Gerald Price
Ashe County Commissioner Gerald Price
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The N.C. Court of Appeals on Sept. 12, dismissed an appeal filed by Ashe County Commissioner Gerald Price in a home foreclosure proceeding brought against him by SunTrust Mortgage last year.

The February 2012 foreclosure order on Price’s Zionville home was upheld in an Aug. 30 special session of the Ashe Superior Court held in Guilford County, according to court documents.

The Superior Court ruled the “matter was settled” at a Feb. 1, 2013, Ashe District Court hearing, and denied Price’s Aug. 15 request for judicial settlement as “moot,” according to a court order filed in the proceedings.

A previous foreclosure proceeding, brought against Price by SunTrust in October 2010, was dismissed on a technicality in August 2011 when the Ashe Superior Court found the mortgage lender “failed to satisfy its burden of proof,” according to court documents.

In the current foreclosure proceeding, two checks were presented by Price in February 2012, featuring handwritten memos “FOR DISCHARGE OF DEBT,” “NOT FOR DEPOSIT” and “EFT (electronic fund transfer) ONLY,” according to court documents.

Checks presented by Price for $134,301.28 and $164,788.93 were returned by SunTrust, according to court documents.

In a March 21, 2012, letter to SunTrust, Price wrote “Because the original untouched (EFT) was not returned to me within the time limits and manner required for such instruments, this instrument has been lawfully accepted and/or transacted. This is not even taking into account both instruments show evidence of processing.”

In February 2011, Price filed a common law lien on his home with the Ashe County Register of Deeds, claiming $1.6 million on the property for “11.5 years of service, maintenance, upkeep, improvements” to his house and yard, “plus additional investments.”

The lien includes a “preservation of interest worksheet,” itemizing Price’s mortgage and insurance payments, property taxes and 4,380 hours of his own labor at $300 per hour.

Property taxes on Price’s home were paid by SunTrust Mortgage from 2008-12, totalling $9,306.74, according to Ashe County Tax Administration records.

According to a local mortgage officer, it is common practice for mortgage lenders to pay taxes on properties in foreclosure to keep them from being sold by the government to satisfy tax liens.

Price, who is representing himself in the case, filed a “Declaration of non-employee, non-corporate, non-subject status” in his foreclosure proceeding Feb. 11, 2013. In it, he claims to be “a living breathing sentient being, a Child of God, a non-corporate entity…the Paramount Security Interest Holder of the debtor William Gerald Price…not liable for the trust.”

The declaration reads that Price “never entered into any contract with the state of North Carolina whereby binding him to adhere to the contractual obligations of (SunTrust’s) statutes and believes none exists.”

Price also filed in February 2013, a “Declaration of conflict of interest,” arguing “whereas Ashe County Superior Court is a private corporation as verified on manta.com…the Beneficiary believes he cannot receive a fair or impartial trial so long as the corporations exists and the Employees are receiving compensation from the corporations….”

Asked to comment on this story, Price responded via email: “You might want to really re-think doing this!”

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