House Facing Foreclosure, Commissioner Chip LaMarca Says: “Nobody’s Perfect”


Chip LaMarca is known as the only Republicans on the Broward County Commission.  He’s supposed to be a fiscally responsible Republican.

Soon he’ll be know as Chip LaMarca The Deadbeat!

Wells Fargo wants its money for his house’s second mortgage.

Jose Lambiet’s GossipExtra website broke the story this morning that LaMarca preaches one thing, but practices another when it comes to finances.

And now, Wells Fargo wants him to pay on a $385,000-loan he took out for his 8,700-square-foot home he’s owned since 1999.  The house has a first mortgage of $240,000, which he told Lambiet he makes regular payments on.  It is currently assessed at $319,000.

LaMarca earned $92,097 as a commissioner and another $26,000 from his contraction company in 2011, according to his latest financial report filed last week. He also reported assets of $212,500 in “household goods” and a 2001 BMW worth $11,500.

“I’ve been on the phone with the bank and I’m hoping they’ll work with me,” LaMarca is quoted. “…Nobody’s perfect. At least, I’m not walking away like many people do. I will continue making responsible decision at the county level.”

We should congratulate him for not walking out on his lawful debt?

An astounding statement, especially coming from the supposedly fiscal responsible LaMarca.

And this guy is voting on our county budget!

32 Responses to “House Facing Foreclosure, Commissioner Chip LaMarca Says: “Nobody’s Perfect””

  1. Heavy D says:

    Maybe that’s more House than you need Chip, not very austere of you. Maybe Holness can provide you with a rental.
    One and done.

  2. joe taxpayer says:

    THe house is not 8,700 sq feet, it is under 2000 sq feet. Jose listed the yard size. Wonder what else is incorrect?

  3. Chaz Stevens, Genius says:

    >> An astounding statement, especially coming from the supposedly fiscal responsible LaMarca.

    You can say anything you want in a sound bite.

  4. GIVE ME A BREAK says:

    really buddy??? how about dale holness? he let a property become a complete disaster and a complete eyesore to the neighborhood. i do not remember you being so harsh on him!

  5. City Activist Robert Walsh says:

    So what are you saying because he allegedly went behind on his morgage payments etc, makes him a bad elected offical. Who is this Jose Lambient- he knows everything. Reminds me of this Perez, or Paris Hilton forgive me i get these two mixed up since they both smell like a bottle of Massengil. Hilton does this type of water cooler gossip also. I mean whats next posting Comm.lamarca’ credit report. I mean I wouldn’t put it passed some of you. Any bank woul d give Chip a loan all he has to do is put up his salary w/ the County(92grand)for collateral. He is not going any where for the next couple of yrs anyway. good luck Comm. lamarca. You will be fine.

  6. Mona Lisa says:

    So? People walk away from bigger loans than that without ever paying a penny. He didn’t snort it or gamble it, he invested it in a construction business. He and millions of others are all in the same boat. There but for the grace of God, Buddy….

  7. Privacy 101 says:

    Mona Lisa is right, people walk away from bigger loans and never pay a penny. But then again, as an elected official, isn’t he supposed to be held to a higher standard? People who can’t handle their own personal finances properly have no business deciding financial matters for others.

  8. Mona Lisa says:

    First of all, we don’t know the whole story. Anyone who thinks because they read something on the internet that it’s total truth… well I have a bridge to sell you. We don’t know that LaMarca actually walked away from anything at all, the article sited says he is working with the bank. That doesn’t sound like walking away.
    In the early 2000’s people were taking out home equity loans for any number of reasons. LaMarca apparently took out this 2nd mortgage to finance a small business, and at the time construction was solid. Now it’s one of the hardest hit industries there is, especially here in South Florida.
    I’m sorry, it is an unfortunate situation but I don’t see it making LaMarca unable to handle personal finances. The same could be said about anyone who has ever had a job, taken out a mortgage and bought a house, then lost a job.
    If anything I think it’ll make him even more in touch with what’s really going on out there, unlike the current administration who thinks everything is just fine.

  9. Fred Jackson says:

    @privacy so let me get this straight, LaMarca was supposed to anticipate the collapse in the economy before he opened his business? Do you really believe that he sat there and said let me take a second mortgage out on my house, start a company, run for office and then when the economy collapses let the bank foreclose on my house… Come on really???

    Buddy, I am very surprised at you! Did you bother to call LaMarca and ask him about this or did you just regurgitate the story like most bloggers are doing these days?

    Does anyone else realize the source of all this????? A GOSSIP columnist!!!!

    And lastly, two points, before I allow the other 3 people who have read this, who most likely just commented because they don’t like LaMarca… 1) LaMarca states he is working with the bank to work out an arrangement, and not walking away, while continuing to pay his mortgage; 2) let he who is without sin cast the first stone, LaMarca joins millions of people who are having these types of issues.

    I applaud Commissioner LaMarca for not walking away for attempting to make an arrangement, and for taking the risk of starting a business in Broward County!


    Jose Lambiet worked at the Daily News, The Sun-Sentinel and the Palm Beach Post. He is a kick ass reporter who worked for the main street media for years.

    LaMarca is a county commissioner. The way he handles money is relevant.

    By the way, I would have used this story in my old Sun-Sentinel column in the main street media. It is a story.

  10. Name Change says:

    I see on facebook when Chip has gatherings of his republican peeps he refers to his house as Case Del Sol. I guess from here on in it will be forever known as Casa en foreclosure.

  11. Mona Lisa says:

    Describing a 2,000 square foot home as 8,700 square feet is “scrupulously accurate”? More like “sensationalistic and exaggerated”.

    I have no idea where he based that fact on. Maybe the square footage of the property? Everybody makes mistakes. By and large, I think Jose is a good reporter and his track record proves it. However, based on your comment, I toned down my praise.

  12. Chaz Stevens, Genius says:

    Maybe Chip can “borrow” his boss’s credit card again.

  13. Taxpayer says:

    he has plenty of company up in LHP where many refi-ed and pulled out equity or 2nd mortgage/line of credit w/house as collateral. lenders will likely work with them as they want their money, not a house w/ a lot less value. but if Chip started his business in 2006 per (La Marca Construction) why is it not on DBPR? No state license? A county residential builder license? No DBPR for company name or Chip himself. Something is not right here. But then this explains why he wanted that gig advising and consulting other broward elected officials on whatever topics was deemed a conflict of interest a few months back. he needed the money. the only other thing that makes no sense is why did he think even for a minute he could run for congress like he talked about late last year? its expensive to live large or even within your means when you travel in certain circle, particularly with attorneys. so an austerity plan may be in order, and hopefully all this is not a distraction when its time to vote on BCC after lobbyists tried to bend his ear

  14. Reality Check says:

    Individual fiscal conservatism becomes impossible in the face of greedy banks making risky loans – safe in the knowledge that they could always foreclose and sell the collateral. This is what the banks did – on a tremendous scale. They and they lone caused the economic meltdown of which we are all victims.

    The banks – including Wells Fargo – are now agreeing to pay fines for targeting specific communities for their injudicious, usurious loans. Where does that leave the individual who bought a house they could afford, put down a respectable down payment and then watched his property value plummet so he could no longer sell his house? In foreclosure. Where has it left the banks? Still pandering to the members of the House Banking Committee: including Barney Frank and Chris Dodd in the Senate.

    Chip is a thoroughly decent guy with good ideas and good intentions. I’ll take him over certain elements in the commission (and some now gracing the halls of prison) any time.

  15. Tim Stevens aint no genius says:

    Dear Tim Stevens a.k.a. “Chaz” Stevens:
    Can you limit your posts to once per article? I know that you believe that you are smarter than you actually are, but can you sum up your thoughts in a single post please? You are nauseatingly annoying in that you talk far too much with usually little substance.
    B.t.w> This seems to be much ado about nothing! He HAS NOT defaulted. If he does, then you will have a story.
    p.s. how did his dealings with Wells Fargo get into the public domain?

  16. kelly says:

    Move along boys and girls, there is no story here.

    Many lenders, Bank of America for example, are now facing punitive damages and actions, for deliberately hindering and impeding the efforts of homeowners to take advantage of the government sponsored Home Modification programs. There is no shame in making honest efforts to repay.I know this comes as a surprise to you Buddy, but thoudands of homeowners in Florida are in Chip’s same situation. At least he has his own house….and is not living with his family.

  17. FTL Broker says:

    Buddy, I really the revision is a bit harsh! Deadbeat, really?

    You really do not like Commissioner LaMarca do you? I do not recall a positive article you have written about him.

    The house as far as I can tell is not in foreclosure yet, you are seriously exaggerating!

    Stick to Illene Lieberman…

  18. Watcher says:

    GOP is the party of dice rollers…Lamarca is just another one…unlike most of them he only took risks with his family…most will risk everyone for gain….query..what happens if you’re wrong on fracking, global climate change and digging for oil in the wrong places…just say oops?

  19. TheSenator1 says:

    Well, we all know Stacy Ritter isn’t going to be hit with this news anytime soon, what with guys like Steinger supporting every want and need. I, for one, am glad that it appears Chip LaMarca isn’t using his office to get under-the-table money for his personal use. I’d rather have someone with LaMarca’s predicament than Stacy Ritter who would just use her husband’s lobbying dollars, altering her credit card receipts to use other people’s money, and sway votes so her husband gets big bonuses through his lobbying fees. Keep doing the right thing Chip, and keep an eye on that Ritter. I heard she’s colluding with Ken Keechl to make you look bad and get Keech to Cheet back on the dole.

  20. Obermann says:

    In the face of mass political theft and corruption and easy money, keep your ethics even if it means having to deal with the banks in a down economy. I’m proud that our new commissioner isn’t afraid to struggle a litte and attempt to make things right. Go Chip LaMarca!

  21. Say what? says:

    I am sure chip and his aides are wodking over time to post here, before the violins stop, maybe we all need to be reminded that it was the struggling LaMarca who ran against the evil lobbyists then just last month announced he wanted to become a lobbyist and was trying to get around the COunty Ethics Rules to lobby BSO, Clerk of Courts etc.

  22. Chaz Stevens, Genius says:

    This comment intentionally and irritatingly left blank.

  23. sidelines says:

    Ritter is an attorney so she wouldn’t make dumb deals and mortgages like this. Too savvy. Same for Lieberman. Lamarca’s timing was bad just all the others in his boat. But hes in elected public office and I assume the Lis Pendens was discovered from Broward County Public Records, so its not a secret. He’ll live through it. Re-election? Maybe not – whims of the voters. But not to worry because there are other elected officials and city commissioners in Broward with Lis Pendens and cash flow problems. Its all in the Public Records.

  24. City Activist Robert Walsh says:

    Ok so we have some descrepancies as to the square footage of comm.Larmarca house(is it 8700 sq ft) what i’m reading here the footagae reported by Jose Lambient. So what is the deal. i can’t imagine that Chip woul d be able to buy a home w. 8700 sq.ft. for what he paid for it. So what your saying is a then took out a 350 thou(give or take) line of equity credit(2nd morgage)and defaulted on paying the 2nd morgage, although is making paymnets on the first? .But refuses to “walk away,”(maybe your only solution) like other people”. To cut to the chase did he get some “sweetheart deal” from the County apprassial Off?. And to Jose lambient-where did you get your source, if you were inaccurate in your reporting please clarify.I’m thinking he got this info from what the south Florida Business Journal? Anyone…

  25. Watcher says:

    Walsh ..check the property appraiser’s website. the lot is 8700 square feet..the house is not overly large…but as they say..if you put all your eggs in one basket…guard that basket

  26. Voter says:

    Lori Parish runs a tight ship so lot and house numbers are rarely off, and it does not look like Chip put an addition on since 1999. shows lot at 8,717 sq. ft. under the LAND CALCULATIONS heading. Below that is Adj.Bldg.S.F. 1996. You can even get a sketch of the house, volume ceiling, small 2nd floor balcony type space. Its not on water, but across the street from houses on canals (see the aerial Lori took!) and he has a pool. while there you will see the value per Lori, and the property tax. Looks fair and square, no special dispensation. Guess Jose L. who writes up in PBC wasn’t real familiar with the bcpa data. No big deal. Chip will work this out with the lender.

    And hopefully Chip will think of all the ‘little guys’ in Broward when he’s casting votes the next 2 years he is in office. And no sweetheart deals for the movers and shakers with our tax dollars.

  27. To Tim Stevens aint no genius says:

    What else do you expect from a clown? At least his pathology is amusing, even if it’s pathetic.

  28. Banker says:

    LaMarca has company on the dais. Looks like the Hon. Comm. Dale V C Holness has had a dozen liens in last 5 years (some released, and some not and not counting Final Judgements) and 3 Lis Pendens. So he has LaMarca beat and owns more properties

  29. Blutarsky says:

    Sharief has property foreclosure history also.

  30. Chaz Stevens, Genius says:

    MAOS ( focuses on truly important stories; stories of public interest having “moral clarity”, and is a collaborative experiment of technology and activism. Chaz Stevens, Genius is Editor in Chief.

    Stevens, South Florida’s premier political corruption fighter, has over the years collected quite an assortment of firsts…


    2010 New Times Activist of the Year
    2010 The Chaz
    2012 Florida First Amendment Foundation Brigade

    Press and Media:

    May 2012: Boca Magazine “Faces”
    June 2012: Tampa Bay Times – The Buzz
    June 2012: National Journal – Hotline On Call
    June 2012: Roll Call – Heard on the Hill
    June 2012: Naples News
    June 2012: Tampa Bay Times – The Buzz
    June 2012: SaintPetersBlog – Sunburn

    TV Coverage:

    June 2012: NBC-2 Fort Myers
    June 2012: ABC-7 Fort Myers
    June 2012: CBS12 West Palm Beach


    Arrests: 3
    Removed from office: 3
    Convicted: 2
    Pending trial: 1
    Pending appeal: 2
    Facing jail time: 1


    US Department of Justice OIG: 1
    US Department Housing and Urban Development OIG: 2
    US Department Housing and Urban Development: 1
    Federal Election Commission: 1
    Florida Department of Law Enforcement: 1
    Broward County SAO: lots and lots
    Broward County OIG: 1
    Palm Beach County SAO: n (?)
    Palm Beach County OIG: n (?)
    Florida Commission on Ethics: 2
    Florida Bar: 1


    Cease and desist letters received: 7
    Number of times we’ve told them to “eat me”: 7
    Sued: 1
    Lawsuits that lasted more than three business hours: 0
    Threatened to be sued: lost count

  31. Voter says:

    Lis Pendens in progress for Eric Haynes on Lauderdale Lakes and Bobbie B. DuBose on Fort Lauderdale

  32. Privacy 101 says:

    Hey Fred Jackson, all I’m saying is I don’t want an elected official to handle my money when he can’t handle his own financial affairs.