University Village Foreclosure Filing Against Ex-County Commissioner Joseph Moreno

Ex-county commissioner, Joseph Moreno’s home at 1443 S Emerald in University Village was just relisted as a pre-foreclosure with a reduced price of $1.18 MM. Moreno has been trying to sell his home since November 4, 2012, shortly after his indictment for corruption. The home, which he purchased in September 2007 for $1,482,000, was originally listed at $1,399,000 in November.
After the initial listing the following sequence of events unfolded:

  •  November 19: Moreno enters plea talks on bribery charges
  • Original listing cancelled and replaced with an identical listing at the same price in February 2013 – the Haily Mary of real estate.
  • Two weeks later the price dropped to $1.349 MM
  • Five weeks later the price dropped to $1.299 MM
  • About four weeks later on April 22 another Hail Mary
  • April 26: a foreclosure was filed against the home by Capital One
  • July 1: Moreno pleads guilty to bribery charges
  • July 9: Another foreclosure was recorded against the home – this time by the United States of America
  • On July 10 the listing was cancelled. I’m speculating 1) the agent was blamed for not being able to sell an overpriced listing 2) they had a disagreement – probably about price 3) the agent, who is pretty savvy, saw that the United States of America had just filed a foreclosure and didn’t want anything to do with the listing.
  • On July 24 a new agent was brought in to sell the home at a significantly lower price – $1.18 MM. Life’s not fair.

Joseph Moreno’s home is one of 36 single family residences on Emerald on the very eastern edge of University Village, right next to the Dan Ryan. I’ve always liked that community and the homes in it. In fact, several years ago my wife and I made a halfhearted attempt to buy one of the foreclosed homes on the west side of Emerald. However, the homes on the eastern side of Emerald back up the Dan Ryan overpass and the Moreno home is on the east side of the street.
Over the last several years a few of the homeowners have attempted to sell with varying degrees of success – all a function of the price at which they listed it. The last home sold on the block was 1420 S Emerald, a foreclosure with 4300 square feet and on the west side of the street, which sold for $1.12 MM in July 2011. Prior to that a home sold on the east side of the block at 1401 S Emerald in September 2010 for $1,125,000. That one was 4300 square feet and new construction. Since it was listed at $1,325,000 I’m sure the buyers thought they got a good deal but frankly I thought they overpaid, given the location on the block and the fact that 1454 S Emerald, a foreclosure, had just closed in August for $801,000 and was on the west side of the block. That is the one that my wife and I were interested in. We probably should have bid more for it but it needed a bit of work and, although it would have been a good investment, it was more than we wanted to spend on a house.
Here are the key stats on the Moreno home:

  • 6 bedrooms
  • 3 1/2 baths
  • 4500 square feet
  • 2 fireplaces
  • 3 car garage
  • Oversized 35 x 125 lot
  • Monthly assessments of $350
  • Listing shows 2011 property taxes of $13,609 but the 2012 property taxes were actually $17,025

Check out the photo gallery at the bottom of this post. The description from the listing reads

PRE-FORECLOSURE–35’WIDE CRNR HOME OVERLOOKING PARK! These originally sold for $1.5-1.7M! Highly upgraded, cust millwork thru-out. Open layout w/ tons of wndws/light, 2 fireplaces, lush bckyrd &huge porch! CHEFS Kitch w/giant pantry, granite, wolf&Subzero. Mstr w/seating area&spa bth w/mosaic tile, split vanity, terrazzo shwr&soaking tub! 4 bed on 1 flr w/skyline views! Cust Amphion whole-house sound system, 3 car gar


There Was Always Something Suspicious About This Guy

The interesting thing about Moreno (no relation to Proco Joe Moreno who is my Alderman) is that he actually lived across the street from me in University Village for several years at 832 W Village Ct. (which I later helped some clients buy). They always struck me as a bit ostentatious with over the top birthday parties and expensive cars – so much so that I once even looked up his salary because I was suspicious that he was involved in some kind of corruption. His county salary did not fit with their lifestyle but I thought that maybe they had family money.
Well, apparently I was on to something – and this was more than 6 years ago. When I saw what he paid for 1443 S Emerald I got really suspicious. Well, apparently one of the charges against him was that one of the subcontractors that he helped get city business loaned him $100,000 to buy that home and later forgave the loan. You know…that’s taxable income. Gee, I wonder if he declared that income on his tax return.
Well it’s good to know that crime doesn’t pay in the long run – for some at least. Moreno will be sentenced on October 17.

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