Monday, February 20, 2012

Owners Of Bay State Island Summer Retreat Lose Property In Sale Leaseback Deal They Believed To Be Financing Arrangement; Now Face The Boot

In Swansea, Massachusetts, the Herald News reports:

  • The embattled owners of Pleasure Island have lost the one-time summer retreat and may be evicted from the property. Last week, a panel of three judges of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Appeals Court in Boston ruled that the property is owned by Costa Management.

  • Former owners, Kenneth and Sandra Stebenne of 469 Corp., have been in a title dispute with Costa Management for the past two years. The Stebennes sought to retain the property, but apparently signed paperwork turning it over to Costa Management in 2005. The Stebennes, if they choose, may appeal the decision with the Supreme Judicial Court within 30 days.

  • Attorney John Francoeur of Levin and Levin, representing Edward Costa and Costa Management of Westport, said Monday his client plans to go through with eviction proceedings.


  • The Stebennes faced a looming foreclosure in 2005. They believed they had entered into a private financing agreement with Edward Costa and retained ownership of the island. [Swansea Town Attorney Arthur Frank Jr.] said they actually transferred the property and entered into a lease agreement. They did have an option to repurchase the island.

  • Frank said the judges looked at the documents, including a purchase and sale agreement, which Sandra Stebenne signed as “seller” and Edward Costa signed as “buyer,” and found that they were clear and straightforward, and were binding whether the plaintiff understood what was signed or not.

  • Costa Management in 2009 filed the $462,908 2005 deed after offering the Stebennes a chance to repurchase the property. [...] Francoeur said Costa Management will likely put Pleasure Island up for sale.

For the story, see Court rules on title of Pleasure Island, saying Swansea property belongs to new owner.

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