FOX19 Exclusive: Another homeowner could lose home in wake of Erpenbeck scandal - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

FOX19 Exclusive: Another homeowner could lose home in wake of Erpenbeck scandal

Bill Erpenbeck, the northern Kentucky homebuilder convicted of ripping off homeowners out of thousands of dollars, remains in prison following his scandal.

But in a FOX19 exclusive, we've learned of yet another homeowner mired in a legal nightmare that he blames on Erpenbeck.

Ted Bradford's proud of the home that he built himself in the Summit Lakes subdivision in Crestview Hills.

"It's way more than we ever imagined we'd have," said Bradford.

But when the home was finally finished, a big problem came out of nowhere.

"I think we're in the American nightmare at this point," said Bradford.

Ted and his family's nightmare started nearly a decade ago when Ted was putting up drywall as a subcontractor for Bill Erpenbeck's company.

Bradford says they owed him more than $100,000. But instead of paying that money, they reached a deal. They'd give him the lot to build his dream home and take away 70,000 of that debt.

"I trusted Bill. At that point in time there wasn't any reason not to. This crazy shenanigans that had happened hadn't really come to light," said Bradford.

Bradford says they closed the deal, and signed all the necessary paperwork, and left Erpenbeck's office ready to build.

"I felt very comfortable in him telling me that the deed was filed," said Bradford.

There's no record of Erpenbeck having filed the deed on the land. Ted started the long process of building his home unaware that he was potentially vulnerable to Erpenbeck's creditors.

Little did Bradford know that at least one Erpenbeck creditor would come forward with a claim against him.

"It probably took us two and a half years to get the house done. We probably invested over 300,000 not counting all our time and labor and favors from friends and stuff we had to do in return for that, so it was a long process, which probably makes it harder to lose," said Bradford.

Bradford watched the Erpenbeck case wind through the court until Bill Erpenbeck was sentenced to 25 years in jail for bank fraud. Federal prosecutors made the case that Erpenbeck repeatedly left home buyers saddled with his company's unpaid debts.

People's Community Bank was one of lenders trying to collect from Erpenbeck and that takes us back to Bradford and the unfiled deed. The bank wants the land and the house. They say they are entitled to both because they won a judgement against Erpenbeck.

"I believe that under equitable theories of law, they shouldn't be allowed to do this," said Jeff Blankenship, Bradford's attorney.

Blankenship says he worked with many Erpenbeck condo-buyers and was able to save their properties. Blankenship says Bradford's case is more complicated and says his client has been willing to give the bank the value of the "land."

People's Community Bank says they cannot comment on pending litigation.

So, while Bill Erpenbeck sits in federal prison, all of this leaves Ted Bradford's dream home in jeopardy.

"We're worried because we could lose everything," he said.

Bradford first discovered his legal nightmare when the city of Crestview Hills initiated foreclosure proceedings to collect back taxes that Erpenbeck had never paid.

Bradford is making a deal to pay the taxes, but the bank's claim against him goes on.

FOX19.com: Steve Oldfield

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