The friendship survived even after
And after Lawrence and
Now the Eisens want their money back.
In a lawsuit filed to recover the funds, the Eisens explain that they provided the loan “to allow (the Schiffs) the opportunity to purchase a primary residence and hopefully get back on their feet after the tribulations of the
Once the Schiffs were settled, they were supposed to repay the loan, the Eisens assert.
The Schiffs, in a counterclaim, maintain that the money wasn't a loan, that it was a real estate investment made to take advantage of the overheated housing market in
The Eisens allege that the loan was made in good faith, and that they only signed papers that Schiff sent them — sometimes seeing only the signature page of longer documents. They admit in their legal filing that they were “especially trusting” of their close friends.
“Plaintiffs signed papers when signatures were requested by defendants,” the suit says. It also says that, “Defendants often took advantage of plaintiff's trusting nature.”
That trust was well established over their years of friendship.
Because of it, the Eisens were willing to overlook
Schiff pleaded guilty in federal court to transferring
Schiff was sentenced to nine months imprisonment and his license as a certified public account was suspended for five years. He and his wife lost their home on Silver Maple Court in
Then they moved to
Not long afterward, according to the Eisens' lawsuit, the Schiffs contacted the Eisens and said they wanted to buy a house near
The Eisens offered to lend them
In exchange, the Schiffs agreed to live in the house, and pay the mortgage and taxes. The house sold for
It was the peak of the housing boom and the plan, according to the Schiffs, was to sit on the property, sell it within five years and split the profits.
Then came 2008 and the burst of the housing bubble.
The value of the house plummeted. By 2010, comparable homes on the same street sold for
Unable to sell and with mortgage payments of nearly
Instead, according to the Eisens' suit, the new mortgage was for
“Upon information and belief,” the suit says, “
Meanwhile, the Schiffs decided to move. The Eisens claim they used money received from the refinance to buy a
For a while, the house on Blaze Court was leased, and the Schiff's sent the Eisens
Instead, the Eisens charge, the Schiffs somehow set up a “joint venture” for the Blaze Court property, with
The Eisens are asking for their
The Schiffs say they owe the Eisens nothing and accuse the Eisens of breach of contract, while they, on the other hand, “agreed to manage the property at no cost to (the Eisens) during the rental period.”
The Schiffs describe the Eisens' lawsuit as frivolous and suggest it is the result of something akin to sour grapes because the house did not go up in value as hoped. They claim to have done all they could to assure the house preserved its value “so that — upon sale — it could recover and exceed the value of the property when it was purchased in 2006.”
Eleven years later, they are still waiting. Houses on Blaze Court are currently listing for between
The case is being heard in
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