Commentary: Hathaway land deal merits investigation
Maybe it's too cut and dried. Or perhaps it isn't very sexy. For whatever reason, it appears there is no confirmed, official, criminal investigation into whether Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway committed fraud by hiding assets in order to get a short sale on a home she owned.
It supposedly went something like this: Hathaway, elected to the state's highest court in 2008, owned several homes, including one in Florida that WXYZ-TV Channel 7 described as a mini-mansion that sits on a golf course.
Hathaway bought the home in question, at 15834 Lakeview in Grosse Pointe, on Sept. 21, 2001, for $1.475 million. On Oct. 10, 2010, she listed the home for sale for $1.2 million. On May 2, 2011, she listed the home subject to a short sale, and on Nov. 8, 2011, the home was approved for a short sale for $840,000.
Presumably, the short sale saved Hathaway from a few hundred thousand in mortgage payments. A short sale is a sale in which lender(s) will accept less than the amount owed on the home in order to sell it. Normally, short sales occur because something dreadful happened, e.g., debilitating illness, job loss, etc., and the debtor cannot make his or her payments, and everyone wants to avoid foreclosure.