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Lender to Michael Jackson: Pay Up or Beat It

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RISMEDIA, March 12, 2008-For the second time in less than a month, the real estate bubble has burst on a rich and famous homeowner’s palatial estate. Following closely on the heels of another trophy property recently sold on the auction block, Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch is set to possibly suffer a similar fate.

On March 19, at 1:00 p.m., Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch in Los Olivos, Calif., is scheduled for a public auction at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse at 1100 Anacapa Street. The opening bid is estimated to be at least $20,000,000. The sprawling Jackson estate — located at 5225 Figueroa Mountain Road — sits on 2,800 acres of rolling hills in California’s wine county north of Santa Barbara. Financial Title Co. filed the notice of trustee’s sale with the Santa Barbara County Superior Court on Feb. 26. The auction notice for the property was recently posted on RealtyTrac, the leading online marketplace for foreclosure properties. 3-12-neverland2.jpg

“We are starting to see evidence of a rise in high-end foreclosures across the nation,” said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer at RealtyTrac. “With the auction of the Hearst mansion in Palm Beach, Fla., and the scheduled auction of Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch, it appears that even the rich and famous are not immune to foreclosure.”

Last month, the oceanfront south Florida mega mansion owned by the widow of publishing heir Randolph Hearst went on the auction block at the Palm Beach County Courthouse. Veronica Hearst’s Manalapan estate – known locally as Villa Venezio — was auctioned for $22 million. Sitting on 3.5 acres of beachfront property, the 32,000 square foot trophy mansion — complete with 9 bedrooms and 12 full bathrooms — was originally built in 1929 for the grandson of Cornelius Vanderbilt.

For more information, visit http://www.realtytrac.com.

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