Grinold seeks receiver for White House

Robert Grinold (right) and attorney David Dunn (center) listen to testimony in Windham Superior Court during Thursday's hearing on Berkshire Bank's motion to appoint a receiver.

NEWFANE- A second Hermitage mortgage holder filed an emergency motion to appoint a receiver to oversee property under foreclosure in Windham Superior Court this week.

Robert Grinold, the former owner and current mortgage holder of the White House of Wilmington filed a foreclosure action against the “White House by Hermitage LLC” and James Barnes in May 2017. According to the foreclosure suit, Grinold accepted a mortgage deed and promissory note for $1.4 million on the White House property in June 2015. As of August 2017, according to an affidavit, Barnes and the White House were in default of the mortgage terms, and owed $1,371,692 in principal and interest.

This week Grinold, through his attorney, David Dunn, filed a motion asking the court to appoint a receiver to manage and monitor the property. Grinold and Dunn were in the courtroom Thursday afternoon, when Judge John Treadwell heard testimony on a similar motion by Berkshire Bank in regard to their foreclosure action on several Hermitage properties.

In an affidavit filed with his motion, Grinold said that he had discussed the insurance status of the White House with a local insurance agent who been in contact with Trip Morse, of Clark-Mortenson Insurance, the Hermitage Club's insurer. “He advised me that the property was now uninusured,” Grinold wrote. “I contacted my attorney to demand a casualty insurance binder from the defendant (Hermitage). He contacted their attorney and received no response.”

Grinold said he spent several hours trying to get the property insured. “I was advised by several insurance agents or brokers that they would not be able to issue me an insurance policy because the property was vacant. The appointment of a receiver will allow me to obtain insurance, as the receiver can designate a groundskeeper and oversee the property.”

In the motion, Dunn writes that “The inn is closed and the property is not insured. If a casualty were to occur, (Grinold) would have no recourse , except to (the Hermitage) which is currently the subject of another receivership motion. Unless (the Hermitage) can demonstrate that there is an active presence at the property, the plaintiff will not be able to obtain casualty insurance.”

Dunn said that the White House by Hermitage remains in default under the terms of the mortgage, and has failed to file an answer or offer a defense to the foreclosure action. The motion also notes that the terms of the mortgage specify that the mortgagor, Grinold, has the right to “have a receiver appointed to take possession of all or any part of the property with the power to preserve the property.”

The motion asks the court to appoint Grinold's son, Adam Grinold, who lives adjacent to the White House property, to the receivership position. Adam Grinold, who is the executive director of the Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation, also owns and manages several properties in Wilmington. “He has extensive experience overseeing all aspects of significant real estate,” Dunn said in the motion. “If appointed receiver, Adam Grinold intends to inspect the property, change the locks to ensure security, if necessary procure casualty insurance, and arrange for a live in or part-time caretaker.”
According to the motion, Adam Grinold has offered his services at $100 per hour, which Dunn said is “consistent with or below the cost of receivers generally.”

Along with the emergency motion for receivership, Grinold also filed a motion to reduce the time the Hermitage has to respond to the receivership request. Judge Treadwell granted the motion in part, requiring any response to the motion to be filed by 1:30 pm on Tuesday, May 15. The court has scheduled a hearing at that time, to consider the motion for receivership, along with motions for summary judgment and a shortened redemption period that were filed earlier.

The Deerfield Valley News

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Wilmington, VT 05363

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