Housing market observers hoping to nail down an even less sympathetic mortgage crisis victim than former slugger Jose Canseco were dealt a harsh blow Sunday, when word broke that a private-equity firm had purchased the loan to Michael Jackson's notoriously creepy Neverland Ranch, allowing the former heartthrob to avert foreclosure.
The news first appeared Sunday in a brief statement on Business Wire:
Michael Jackson today announced that the foreclosure sale of his Neverland Ranch property scheduled for this week has been cancelled by Colony Capital, LLC, which just acquired the existing loan on Neverland Ranch from an affiliate of Fortress Investment Group. Mr. Jackson said, "I am pleased with recent developments involving Neverland Ranch and I am in discussions with Colony and Tom Barrack with regard to the Ranch and other matters that would allow me to focus on the future."
The loan on the 2,900-acre ranch is about $23.5 million. The property was scheduled to be auctioned off on May 14, but canceled on May 9, Fox News reported that day.
Much like the career trajectory of the former teen pop idol, the previously luxurious Neverland Ranch has fallen into disrepair as of late. The California property was once stocked with a roller coaster, a Ferris wheel, elephants, and giraffes, according to the Los Angeles Times. (And that was back when hardly anyone had a giraffe.)
But after Jackson was acquitted of child molestation charges and moved to Bahrain in 2005, the property reportedly languished, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Sorry, guys, looks as if Jose will have to do—at least for now.