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High Desert Corp. sued over Mariposa default

High Desert Investment Corp. offices occupied the top floor of the now-closed Mariposa community center building. (journal file)
High Desert Investment Corp. offices occupied the top floor of the now-closed Mariposa community center building. (journal file)
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A Texas-based mortgage company has sued Mariposa developer High Desert Investment Corp. to foreclose on a $3.2 million loan for the construction of the community center at the far north Rio Rancho subdivision.

The lawsuit filed last monthin 13th Judicial District Court in Sandoval County by LPP Mortgage Ltd. claims High Desert defaulted on the loan for the 9,870-square-foot community center.

Opened in 2009, the Mariposa community center, featured an indoor and outdoor pool, a multipurpose room for group exercise or community meetings and a full-feature gym. High Desert closed the center this summer after its representatives told Mariposa residents the company was pulling out of the development and would no longer subsidize payments to keep the community center open or to cover bond debt for a water treatment system and other infrastructure.

LPP of Plano, Texas, inherited the community center loan from the original lender, Charter Bank of Santa Fe, which was closed in January 2010 by the Office of Thrift Supervision, according to court documents.

As of Oct. 31 this year, the amount still owed for loan principal, interest, late fees and expenses was $2,066,628. Interest is still accruing on the principal at the rate of 18 percent per year, the complaint said.

It said the mortgage agreement provides for a receiver to be appointed to manage the property until it is sold.

In October, Admiral’s Bank of Boston sued to foreclose on a $2.5 million loan for the Mariposa Commons East office building.

A District Court judge has appointed a receiver.

A group of 18 Mariposa homeowners recently sued High Desert for breach of contract and fraud, among other things.

They claim High Desert grossly overestimated home sales potential at Mariposa when selling bonds to pay for the infrastructure. High Desert used a financing mechanism that allowed the company to pay for the bonds with taxes collected from homeowners.

Lackluster sales meant too little money was collected for the bond payments.

High Desert’s refusal to honor an agreement to cover the shortfall meant a hefty tax increase for Mariposa residents.

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