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The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Northern Idaho luxury home items centre of foreclosure battle

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - An Arizona developer and the owner of a California car dealership are fighting over high-end appliances and hundreds of other items removed from an 11,000-square-foot luxury home in northern Idaho just before a foreclosure sale.

The items include a $45,000 French-made gas cooking range, a $40,000 spiral staircase, a $60,000 boat slip, and an $8,000 pedestal sink.

Dana Martin owns the home and two adjacent lots on the west shore of Lake Coeur d'Alene, The Spokesman-Review reported (http://bit.ly/1rqjDBw).

Denny Ryerson, 69, built the house as a dream retirement home. But he defaulted on bank loans during the recession.

Martin acquired the bank note in 2013 from Idaho Independent Bank. Last month, he made the only foreclosure offer — $7 million — for the home. The mechanics of the bid allows him to apply the amount of money he's owed by Ryerson on the defaulted bank loans.

But within days, he discovered that crews working for Ryerson had removed hundreds of items. Martin's attorney, Bruce Anderson, in court documents writes: "The premises could only be described as 'stripped.'"

He adds that all the "windows were covered with sheets or other coverings to keep observers from seeing what happened to the interior of the home."

Ryerson in recent years tried to sell the home, in 2012 listing it for $10.5 million, or $12.5 million including the art and furnishings. In the past two years, he twice refused offers from Martin as being too low.

Martin hired Jerry Flowers to survey what had been removed. Flowers listed 42 wall sconce lights, 192 recessed can lights, assorted kitchen and laundry room appliances and several outdoor post and column lights.

"I saw a few other homes stripped like this, but only in $150,000 homes in subdivisions. I've never seen it happen in the high-end lake properties," Flowers said.

He said the missing items add up to between $550,000 and $700,000.

Ryerson's attorney, John Munding, said Ryerson removed the items "because he felt they were his personal property." He said Ryerson is allowed to remove custom furniture and an extensive art collection.

The items are being stored in several northern Idaho locations until a federal bankruptcy judge makes a ruling. A hearing is planned in August.

___

Information from: The Spokesman-Review, http://www.spokesman.com

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