By David Pierce
Pocono Record Writer
January 23, 2014
A plan to convert and sell 49 failed Shawnee timeshare units as wholly owned townhomes won final approval Tuesday from Monroe County Judge Arthur Zulick.
The unusual conversion of the Middle Smithfield Township quarter-shares is the result of a two-year legal process launched by three timeshare holders. The Shawneequarters Association agreed to represent all quarter-share holders in the class-action suit that will result in the association eventually dissolving itself.
The converted townhomes — about a two-minute drive from Shawnee Mountain Ski Area — will become part of the Northslope II development and be subject to its covenants and declarations. Some 76 other units at Northslope II were built as and operate as townhomes.
Of the 196 quarter-shares, 110 went into default over the years, with the deeds going back to Shawneequarters Association. Some 44 of the 49 units had been shut down and disconnected from utilities.
Shawneequarters Association owes more than $600,000 in delinquent property taxes it was unable to collect. Total delinquencies, including unpaid dues, exceed $1 million.
Zulick gave quarter-share owners until Jan. 3 to file objections to the proposed settlement, but none was received. A few timeshare owners called to inquire about the process.
“The people calling were asking when are they going to get their checks,” attorney Joe Wiesmeth, representing three quarter-shares holders, told the judge.
The furnished 1,200-square-foot townhome units will be sold by Wilkins & Associates in an auction-style cash sale. All sales must be closed within 30 days after the sales agreement is executed. Though the homes are subject to bid, they are listed at $49,900 for interior units and $52,900 for end units.
Buyer offers for less than the list price are subject to board approval.
Total sales are expected to fetch about $2.5 million. About $1.5 million of that will pay back taxes, back association fees and attorney, Realtor and title bills.
About $1 million will be distributed to the former timeshare holders. Someone owing $15,000 in back taxes and fees will receive $6,000 to be applied to retiring those debts. No one owing more than $15,000 will receive a distribution, said Realtor Tom Wilkins.
Quarter-share holders who are current with all fees and taxes will receive an extra payment.
Taxes on each quarter-share unit amounted to about $8,000. The Monroe County Assessment Office agreed to new assessments for the townhomes that will lower county, municipal and school taxes to about $3,600 per year.
Wilkins noted the lower tax bills will be offset by the payment of uncollected back taxes.
Northslope II association dues are estimated to be $225 to $265 per month. Northslope II will retain title to and perform maintenance on the exterior.
Area real estate agents are invited to a Feb. 2 open house to learn more about the sales process. Showings by appointment only will be conducted by Wilkins & Associates during the following three weekends. Closings will take place in March.
“By April 30, this will be a done deal,” Wilkins said.
For the original article from the Pocono Record click here.