Paying for a home in Los Angeles can often seem just about impossible, and apparently that holds true for influential politicians just as much as it does for the little guys. As reported by Daniel Guss in a post on CityWatch and verified by the Los Angeles Times, city council president Herb Wesson can't seem to keep current with the mortgage payments on his two LA homes.
Wesson tells the Times that his financial troubles began when he and his wife Fabian purchased their Mid-City home in 2007. "Like so many Americans, my wife and I purchased our home during the peak of the housing market only to watch the bubble burst and the economy nose dive into the worst recession in more than sixty years," he tells the paper.
According to City-Data.com, Wesson’s home is located in the historic Wellington Square neighborhood just to the west of West Adams. Property records indicate that Wesson purchased the 1923 Spanish-style residence for $950,009. That’s no insignificant chunk of change, but unfortunately for Wesson, the home’s value probably hasn’t risen all that much since then (Zillow’s zestimate tool guesses the home would fetch just a little over $1 million today).
The Times reports the councilman has been significantly late on his payments more than once since purchasing the home. As recently as January, a notice of default was filed on the property indicating that the Wessons were more than five months behind on payments and owed $33,248.
And that’s not the only home that’s causing problems for the couple. They also own a four-bedroom rental property in Ladera Heights for which no less than three separate notices of default have been recorded since 2011. Last month, a trustee’s sale was even scheduled before the account was paid off. A spokesperson for Wesson tells the Times the council president is now current on both mortgages, having dipped into personal savings and retirement accounts to pay the balance. For the record, members of the city council earn more than $184,000 annually.
Wesson says he’s now working with a financial advisor and wants to use the experience to help working families in the future. Well, that’s nice. At least we know someone on the city council understands how hard it is to pay down a mortgage in Los Angeles.