Regions Bank, a Birmingham, Alabama-based lender, took two multi-million-dollar homes back from actor Nicolas Cage in a foreclosure auction last week, according to CNNMoney.com.
The amazing thing is that the each of the New Orleans homes appraised for more than one million dollars more than the bank paid. Cage's French Quarter house, which went for $2.3 million, appraised at $3.5 million; the Garden District house, which went for $2.2 million, appraised for $3.3 million.
The outstanding mortgages on the homes, according to the CNNMoney article by Hibah Yousuf, totalled $5.5 million. In addition, the City of New Orleans is owed slightly more than $150,000 in back taxes.
These properties, with lots of yummy New Orleans details like wrought-iron balconies, Corinthian columns, and winding staircases, were clearly investments rather than residences (unless Cage was planning to clone himself and sleep in both houses at once when he was in New Orleans). In that sense, the actor is guilty of a very mainstream American mistake, that of over-investing in real estate during the boom.
And he's now implementing a very American solution, which is to shed assets until his life is right-sized again. I wish him well.
The owner of record is Hancock Park Real Estate, a company set up so that Cage's name would not appear on public records, according to New Orleans sheriff Paul Valteau.
Cage, who reportedly owes more than $6 million in taxes to the Federal Government, is currently suing his former business manager.