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TO STATE EDIT

 STATE LOOKING FOR MORE THAN 100 PEOPLE WHO ARE
 OWED AS MUCH AS $80,000 DUE TO LEGAL SETTLEMENT
 SACRAMENTO, Calif., Aug. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 100 elderly Californians who resided at La Serena Manor Retirement Village in Thousand Oaks may be eligible for repayments ranging from a few dollars to more than $80,000, as the result of settlement of a lawsuit brought by the California Department of Social Services against the owners and operators of the facility.
 "We are pleased to have resolved this suit," said Eloise Anderson, department director. "It means we can help these people recover funds that were due to them because of unscrupulous management and unfair business practices."
 Anderson said the department is attempting to locate the former residents or their heirs, in order to return their money.
 The department's action was taken against La Serena Manor Inc., the former owner, and Pacific Homes, the operator of La Serena Retirement Village, a continuing-care facility in Thousand Oaks. Action was also taken against Mort Swales, president of both corporations, after Pacific Homes, as the management company for La Serena, refused to refund the investments individuals had made for what they believed would be lifetime care.
 The suit was filed by CDSS with the assistance of the State Attorney General's office, and stemmed from an investigation of the acquisition of the facility by La Serena Manor Inc. through the bankruptcy court in 1986, and the operation of that facility by Pacific Homes until it was foreclosed against by the mortgage holder in January 1989. This resulted in the elderly residents losing the investment of their entrance fees and being forced to move or pay much larger monthly fees to remain in the facility under the new ownership.
 The settlement includes monetary reimbursement of over $2.1 million in unamortized entrance fees to approximately 105 individuals and couples who had signed contracts to reside at the facility, both before and after Pacific Homes took over operation of the facility. These funds are currently being held in a trust account at a bank in Ventura County.
 On July 1, 1993, the Ventura County Superior Court granted permission for distribution of funds. The state department is attempting to locate all former residents or their heirs. Individual amounts due to specific former residents range from $7.02 to $80,663.03, with 23 individuals or couples eligible to receive over $40,000 each.
 Due to the confidentiality of the identities of the former residents, and the potential for the recipients to become victims of unscrupulous people who prey on elderly individuals, the department cannot publish a list of the recipients.
 ANY FORMER RESIDENTS OR THEIR HEIRS SHOULD CONTACT DEBRA ASHBROOK, SENIOR STAFF COUNSEL, CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES, AT 916-653-1854.
 -0- 8/24/93
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: This release is no. 93:144./
 /CONTACT: Debra Ashbrook, 916-653-1854, or Liz Brady, 916-657-3602, both of CDSS/


CO: California Department of Social Services ST: California IN: SU:

PK-SG -- SF003 -- 5771 08/25/93 10:53 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 25, 1993
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