UPDATE: Estate Financial investors fighting back

March 18, 2008

Investors, builders and attorneys squeezed into a large, sunny conference room at a beautiful, ocean-side hotel earlier this week to talk about something most found unpleasant: How they were going to recoup millions of unaccounted-for dollars placed with Paso Robles lender Estate Financial.

(See previous UncoveredSLO.com article, “Hard money lending schemes creating fiscal chaos, devastating SLO County investors,” March 14 on this site.)

There were more than 200 people at the hastily-called meeting, many from San Luis Obispo County, and most around or well into their retirement years. The meeting was organized by Ron Cooper, a Los Angeles County contractor, to attempt unifying concerns and potential action of varied interests. A series of speakers representing contractors, other borrowers, and investors told of problems and posed solutions.

“I was blown away by all the people,” Cooper said following the meeting. “The point of my presentation was to show that my records and books are open, so why in God’s name are Karen Guths ‘s (Estate Financial’s president) records and books not open.”

Cooper and those investors in his project who attended the meeting agreed to give Guth 48 hours to produce names of other investors in his development. Then, the group plans to ask the SLO District Attorney’s Office to step in. If the District Attorney refuses to take action, the group’s strategy is to talk to the state Attorney General.

“I don’t care about putting Karen Guth or her son (Joshua Yaguda) in jail,” Cooper added. “I just care about getting my money back.”

Estate Financial Vice President Joshua Yaguda sat near the front of the meeting wearing sunglasses, silently declining comment when invited.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Investors, builders and others who believe they have been exploited by questionable hard money lending practices are welcome to use the comment section of this post and the previous post to communicate and connect.

Tags:, EFI, Estate Financial


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22 Comments

  1. ccn_debate says:

    Member Opinions:
    By: Anonymous on 5/9/08 [Delete]
    Interesting Legals in the Telegram Tribune. Notice of Trustees Sale on Loan B352-05 – B366-05 Signature Homes and Al D'Amico in the amount of $7,584,421.10 APN: 026-281-055/056 and Three Bells,B193-06 Karen Guth- Al D'Amico in the amount of $6,453,285.89 APN: 040-111-024. Open your eyes

    By: Anonymous on 4/28/08 [Delete]
    Mike says:

    Well now Karen and DOYA/EFI were very busy last week 4-17-08 dozens of filings were done on property. According to the County Recorder Julie many filings were done that day. There goes the money

    April 21st, 2008 at 6:16 AM

    Kelly says:

    Yes, they were very busy when i went to check on my deeds i learned the county recorder clerk Julie Rodewald has officially denied all the public access to check the records citing security and privacy reasons. So I tried on line at home and the county web site will no longer allow anyone to access the information. Again citing personal privacy not wanting the upset investors to know where people live or what deeds have changed she is no longer allowing full public access. So something is really wrong here.

    April 25th, 2008 at 5:52 PM

    By: Anonymous on 4/27/08 [Delete]
    There will be a hearing in SLO Superior Court on Tuesday, April 29, at 8:30 a.m.,courtroom D4 for a case Karen is involved in with her old husband, Charlie Applebaum. It might be interesting to attend and hear what the old gal has to say for herself and to glean information that may be helpful to us in filings of our own. You can check it out for yourself at: http://www.slocourts.net
    under "calendar", select "civil & family law by name" then scroll down to Applebaum and then scroll down to Guth. Hope to see you all there!

    April 27th, 2008 at 8:18 AM

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  2. ccn_debate says:

    By: Anonymous on 4/21/08 [Delete]

    IS GUTH ESTATE IN FINANCIAL TROUBLE? You bet!!!!!!!
    "Since last February 1, 2006, Estate Financial was a borrower from Heritage Oaks Bank on an unsecured line of credit in the amount of $5,000,000. Guth was a guarantor on the line of credit. About 11/15/07 EFI entered into a "CHANGE IN TERMS AGREEMENT" with Heritage Oaks Bank. "The third paragraph on the first page of the agreement describes the change in terms including an extension of the maturity to 11/15/08, that the loan is no longer a revolving line of credit and that collateral for the loan has been added which includes a deed of trust on each of the two gas station properties owned by Templeton Products, Inc.
    Can Heritage Oaks Bank sustain a $5,000,000 loss?

    LYING: Guth/Estate have no lawsuits against them. Here's two for you to look up – 6/22/07 Case CV070549 and 1/10/07 CV071107. The latter includes a cause of action asking the court to issue a permanent injunction prohibiting Guth and Yaguda from continuing to engage in unfair, deceptive and/or fraudulent business practices.

    Investors – you are LAST IN LINE as Guth/Yaguda have mortgage away EVERYTHING.

    By: Anonymous on 4/20/08 [Delete]
    Oh my G_d.

    On March 17, 2004 Karen Guth swears under penalty of perjury as follows:

    "EFI's largest asset is a note receivable from Republic Properties, which is not collectable."

    NOT COLLECTABLE???????????

    By: Anonymous on 4/20/08 [Delete]
    Quote Charlie Applebaum 12/2/2003 in a sworn statement in court in SLO County. Go to the court and see it for yourself.

    "The real reason Estate Financial has had to transfer "bad loans" to Republic for workout is that the Respondent (Karen Guth) decided to advance certain funds which were invested by investors on one project, to the builder on another project. This action is clearly inappropriate….."
    She has been committing this illegal act of commingling fund since at least 2003, so says her ex-life partner.

    By: Anonymous on 4/16/08 [Delete]
    There will be a meeting of the investors on the Hinds Ave.project in Pismo Beach. Loan #518-05 on Monday April 21, 2008 at 12 noon at the Colony Inn Hall; 3600 El Camino Real, Atascadero. It is located next door to the Kennedy Nautilis Center. 805-466-4449. The purpose of the meeting is to hear about the different options available to the investors, to hear from the investors as to what they want to do, and to vote on these options. It is very important that all voting investors attend this meeting. Karen Guth, EFI President, Tony Wells a developer, Madeline Winn the junior lien holder, Wyndham Resorts, and two other interested developers will be there to tell us what they have to offer.
    This meeting is definitely happening; if you want a voice in what happens to your investment on this project, then you should attend this meeting.You may e-mail me at bluesky41144@yahoo.com and put in the subject line, loan 518-05 or call me 805-610-6331

    By: Anonymous on 4/15/08 [Delete]
    I have sat back long enough watching these blogs, hoping against hope that these accusations against Estate were wrong. Well they are not wrong.

    I have just learned that Estate sold a property I have an interest in through a fractionalized first deed of trust. That sale occurred more than 6 months ago. I have not seen a penny of my investment and interest payments stopped late last year.

    Mrs. Guth – where is my money? Did you steal it?

    By: Anonymous on 4/15/08 [Delete]

    ESTATE FINANCIAL LAWSUITS

    On April 8th two major subcontractors who worked for San Dimas 18, LLC sued San Dimas 18, LLC, ESTATE FINANCIAL, INC. AND ESTATE FINANCIAL MORTGAGE FUND, LCC.

    Why does that matter! Because other subcontractors will likely begin their own lawsuits. And the more lawsuits Estate has to defend the costlier it is going to be for all investors.

    Case # KC052088 and KC052068. Pomona court (Los Angeles County)Attorney for Plaintiffs is Jonathan Zeko -619-233-7078

    (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
  3. ccn_debate says:

    By: Anonymous on 4/10/08 [Delete]
    MEETING

    DATE: Thursday April 17th
    START TIME: 2:30PM
    LOCATION: Atascadero
    Colony Park Community Center
    5599 Traffic Way
    Traffic way exit off of 101 Whether going N or S

    By: Anonymous on 4/9/08 [Delete]
    I attended the meeting yesterday with Karen & Josh.
    Please email me at jschacherer@hotmail.com, or call me @ (805) 710-3945 if you like to discuss the outcome of the meeting.

    By: Anonymous on 4/8/08 [Delete]
    Ron Cooper says:

    NEXT MEETING. Thursday, April 17th at 3 PM. Location to be determined in the next few days. Proposed agenda will be sent tomorrow.

    NO MORE TALKING. Time to vote on how to move forward. We need 500 people, so please start telling everybody.

    April 8th, 2008 at 9:34 PM

    By: Anonymous on 4/8/08 [Delete]
    E.F. mortgage fund forum….these were to begin on 4/1/08…has anyone been in the first round of these and how did they go?…how accomodating was karen guth in imparting relevant information regarding the fund?…any information would be appreciated, thanks
    tkh548@sbcglobal.net

    By: Anonymous on 4/8/08 [Delete]
    who could give us info about 155-06 to 186-06.
    we signed in january a document autorising EF to reconvey this loan and EF is now in 2nd position

    By: Anonymous on 4/8/08 [Delete]
    HIND AVE PARTNERS LLL: B105-06 and 518-05. On 105-06 it looks as if more than 50% of the holding investors are against the 60% sell off, so that one has been stopped. B518-05 could still be sold off at 60%. There are over 180 investors in 518-05 and we have yet to contact all of them. There appears to be the potential of a better deal (78-82%) waiting in the wings. If you have not signed the 60% offer, please don't. It seem unlikely that the 60% bidder would drop all interest if we delay a few weeks. There are efforts underway to get a meeting of all B-518 investors together very soon. Watch this site for more info.

    By: Anonymous on 4/7/08 [Delete]
    Fund investors, please read this! Apparently no one has a list of investors so it's time we make one of our own! If you are new to this situation, Karen Guth has refused to give out the Fund investor list (as promised in her Circular) therefore not giving us a chance to regain control of our investments. I've arranged for an email account for you to write to. Please include your name, address, phone number, email account and any other information you would like to add. This is essential so you can be contacted. There's supposedly 1800 investors, so if anyone does have the list, spare me and let me know. Keep in mind, the phone book releases most the same info. Let's not waste anymore time! Send your info to effundinvestors@yahoo.com By sending your info you are not committing to any particular side or opinion. This list will also help individual deed holders in projects where Estate Financial has a majority control. Also, if you have given money to EF and you aren't sure if it's even invested in a deed or the Fund, please write.

    Individual deed holders – I also recommend that someone step up to the plate for the larger first trust deeds and do this for their individual projects as well.

    (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
  4. ccn_debate says:

    By: Anonymous on 4/7/08 [Delete]
    Fund investors, please read this! Apparently no one has a list of investors so it's time we make one of our own! If you are new to this situation, Karen Guth hasn't given out the list therefore not giving us a chance to regain control of our investments. I've arranged for an email account for you to write to. Please include your name, address, phone number, email account and any other information you would like to add. This is essential so you can be contacted. There's supposedly 1800 investors, so if anyone does have the list, spare me and let me know. Keep in mind, the phone book releases most the same info. Let's not waste anymore time! Send your info to effundinvestors@yahoo.com By sending your info you are not committing to any particular side or opinion. This list will also help individual deed holders in projects where Estate Financial has a majority control. Also, if you have given money to EF and you aren't sure if it's even invested in a deed or the Fund, please write.

    Individual deed holders – I also recommend that someone step up to the plate for the larger first trust deeds and do this for their individual projects as well.

    By: Anonymous on 4/7/08 [Delete]
    My personal opinion is that Laura Paulsen (and probably the rest of the crew) is hypnotized into believing that Karen and Josh are family. Or somehow she believes she is doing right by perfroming her tasks as told. Or perhaps the pay is just so tempting, that she wants to stay (greed) while she helps Karen break her promises to her investors. There is no possible way this girl is that clueless to the law. You'd have to be a 8 year old not to get what is going on there. I predict there will be serious legal/criminal trouble for her if she doesn't come clean. And Laura if you are reading this, your only slight chance of gaining any respect from this community is to do the right thing – quickly! The people of this community will never forget which choice you make! One will make you a hero, the other could be legally devastating to you! In no way is this a threat, it just reality. Karen Guth is not your 'mother.' Let her go, it's okay……. let her go….. I doubt Karen Guth will be faithful to you until the end. Chances are she'll try to blame others and you may very well be in the line of sight. Let her go……

    By: Anonymous on 4/7/08 [Delete]
    FYI or Mike,
    I am still trying to figure out who are the proactive players but I would like to participate.
    I may be able to help you with addresses of the projects in the FUND. If that will help please e-mail me your contact # and I will share what I know. bcqueen@charter.net

    By: Anonymous on 4/7/08 [Delete]
    Butch & Ron Cooper: Her name is Darla Hansen-lives in Paso area-no info on Ph# or address. It has been suggested she was terminated for disagreeing with Karen and Joshua on internal business practices, and for revealing to an investor information considered secret by Karen and Joshua. Laura Paulson is still employeed by EFI as funding administrator. Both are good for information under the right situation.8bdb6

    By: Anonymous on 4/7/08 [Delete]
    mike–how's the progress on the pictures?
    any response from your pointed questions to EF?
    Mike Knecht says:

    I am going to take and organize a collection of pictures of EF building sites and projects in thier current condition. Anyone with an address of one of thier projects please e-mail me. These picture and addresses wil be available to all investors.

    April 1st, 2008 at 8:32 AM

    (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down

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