Erik Fresen wants to be the Florida House Speaker. First he should worry about holding on to his own home.
The local state representative has 180 days to pay his past due mortgage or he will be out on his ear, a Miami-Dade judge ruled Tuesday. Fresen owes his bank nearly $615,000 in principal, interest and late fees on his three-bedroom, according to the Miami Herald.
Fresen, a 33-year-old Republican, hasn't paid his mortgage in over a year because of a dispute regarding $10,000 property taxes that he claims he paid. Fresen said his adviser told him not to pay in an effort to force the lender, JPMorgan Chase, to come to terms on some type of lower payment or agreement.
Bad idea. The bank just filed legal papers to get the money or foreclose on the home. The house is valued at $484,000.
"Refusing to pay your mortgage isn't going to bring us to the table any faster,'' Chase spokeswoman Nancy Norris told the Herald. "We will eventually foreclose. It's bad for us, and it's bad for you.''
The hard dose of real-estate reality couldn't come at a worst time for Fresen, who is pushing hard for the 2014 House Speaker position. Fresen's house is located in the heart of Miami and District 111, an area he won the right to represent in 2008.
But not having his own house in order probably isn't good for becoming the speaker of Florida's house.