Woman loses Golden Gate Estates home to foreclosure at auction

Scott McIntyre/Staff 
 Cindy Balterman stands for a portrait in front a sign that she made in hopes to stop foreclosure on her home in Golden Gate.

Photo by SCOTT MCINTYRE // Buy this photo

Scott McIntyre/Staff Cindy Balterman stands for a portrait in front a sign that she made in hopes to stop foreclosure on her home in Golden Gate.

Scott McIntyre/Staff 
 Cindy Balterman stands for a portrait in front a sign that she made in hopes to stop foreclosure on her home in Golden Gate.

Photo by SCOTT MCINTYRE // Buy this photo

Scott McIntyre/Staff Cindy Balterman stands for a portrait in front a sign that she made in hopes to stop foreclosure on her home in Golden Gate.

Video from NBC-2
Video from YouTube

— Cynthia Balterman has a new start but it's not the start she wanted.

On Wednesday, she lost her two-story home in Golden Gate Estates at a foreclosure auction, held at the Collier County courthouse off U.S. 41 East.

The sale came after a last-ditch effort to convince Wells Fargo Bank to modify her mortgage. Her pleas to save her home, made through emails to bank executives, a YouTube video and a 6-by-12-foot sign in her driveway didn't change the lender's mind.

She was turned down for a loan modification for a third time Tuesday after her persistent cries for help got the attention of the media and Wells Fargo.

At the auction, her 2,556-square foot, four-bedroom home off Fifth Avenue Southwest didn't go quickly, with several investors competing for it. They bid up the price until it ultimately sold for $241,900.

Wells Fargo was owed almost $257,000, so the lender got most of its money back. The home's assessed value is nearly $231,000, according to Collier County property records.

At times, the bids rose by as little as $50, dragging out the inevitable sale at the auction. Balterman and her 18-year-old daughter, who have lived in the home for more than a decade, cried through it.

After the sale, one of the losing bidders, Alexander Oppliger with AXOP Industries Inc., tried to comfort them.

"You're free and clear now," he said. "You did what you could. It's a new start."

Balterman, 54, tried to stay calm. "I'm beside myself," she said. "I thought I was going to have a new start with a loan modification."

The winning bidder was Tarp Properties LLC. After making the final bid, Ric Bonasera, a general manager at Frey & Son Homes in Naples, a related company, walked up to Balterman and consoled her. "Sorry about your misfortunes," he said.

He said it was rare to see a homeowner still living in the home at this stage and still fighting to keep it.

Asked if Balterman might be able to get her home back, Bonasera said, "That's always a possibility."

But it seems an unlikely possibility as Balterman would have to find new financing, which will be tough after just going through a foreclosure. She said she doubts the financing will come through, "unless a philanthropist adopts me."

She has offered to pay rent for a few months to stay in the home, which would give her more time to pack and find a new place to stay.

Bonasera said he'd work with Balterman in any way he could to smooth the transition.

"Nobody likes to see this happen to anybody," he said. "It's a business for us and there's a personal side that sheds a different light."

Connect with Laura Layden at www.naplesnews.com/staff/laura_layden

© 2012 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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