A long-time entertainer who is vying to become the next president of Haiti has defaulted on more than $1 million in loans and lost three South Florida properties to foreclosure in just over a year, public records show.
Among the houses Michel “Sweet Micky” Martelly lost was the 5-bedroom 6,000-square foot Royal Palm Beach home the singer shared with his wife and four children until he returned to Haiti in 2007.
Records show he and his wife Sophia bought the brand new two-story house on Wellington View Drive in the summer of 2005 for $910,000. They took out two loans, including one for $637,000, according to Palm Beach County records. Martelly stopped paying one of the mortgages’ $3,251 payment on Nov. 1, 2008, the files show.
The bank sued, Martelly and the trustee named on the records did not respond, and a judge ordered a foreclosure. The house was sold a month ago in a bank sale, and is now listed for sale for $500,000.
The house was among three properties Martelly purchased – including two in Broward County – that banks took back for lack of payment. Those lawsuits join liens from homeowner associations and a Broward County hospital, which sued the candidate for payment of a medical bill.
The issue of Martelly’s financial acumen will likely increase scrutiny of him him on the campaign trail, where he enjoys popular support among Haiti’s youth. Anonymous bloggers are spreading the word about the real estate deals and asking: “Why Michel Martelly is running for president of Haiti while facing deep financial problems in United States?”
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