COSTA MESA — The owner of Costa Mesa's beloved "Snoopy House" Christmas display will have an opportunity to gather the rest of the props he wasn't able to take when the home was shuttered, Wells Fargo officials said Wednesday.
FOR THE RECORD:
The Nov. 30 article “'Snoopy House' owner may get decorations back” should have said that Jordan was evicted Tuesday, Nov. 29. The home was in foreclosure the previous year.
The bank foreclosed Tuesday on Jim Jordan's Eastside house, a large corner property at 2669 Santa Ana Ave., after it fell in arrears more than a year ago.
Legal technicalities kept the home from being foreclosed sooner, said Jordan, 59, who is fighting in court to keep the house.
In a prepared email statement, Wells Fargo spokeswoman Edna Silva said Jordan will have a chance to move the rest of his giant Christmas display.
"We understand that Mr. Jordan and the community has made a considerable time and financial investment in the annual holiday display outside the home," she wrote. "Ultimately, Mr. Jordan will be the one to make the final decision on how the property will removed.
"Since the foreclosure sale on Nov. 24, 2010, Mr. Jordan has been provided ample time to determine the most suitable option for preserving and removing his personal effects from the property. On Nov. 9, 2011, we offered Mr. Jordan an additional three weeks to make arrangements for removal of his property.
"At this point, we are exploring multiple options on how to get his property back to him. Foreclosure is an option of last resort, and it's regrettable that we had to foreclose on Mr. Jordan's rental property. While we work hard to prevent foreclosures, it is not always avoidable."
Though he's fighting the bank in court, Jordan said he appreciated the opportunity to remove his Christmas display.
"I didn't expect any consideration at all from Wells Fargo, so I'm very grateful for that," Jordan said.
Wells Fargo foreclosed after Jordan stopped making payments during his a failed attempt to strike a deal with the bank to modify his home loan.
Jordan said he hired a man to work with the bank, but the man took his money and ran. Then one day, Jordan said, he got a notice that his home was in foreclosure.
He tried to renegotiate his loan with the bank, but didn't qualify. He's now suing Wells Fargo, claiming the bank sold his home before his window to recover the property was closed. Wells Fargo denies that assertion in court documents.
Even before Jordan turned over the keys to the bank Tuesday night, Costa Mesans were reeling from the loss. The Snoopy Christmas display has been a Costa Mesa holiday tradition spanning generations.
Kaiser Elementary School teachers had students interview Jordan for school projects. Jordan even hired Santa Claus to take pictures with kids as told tell him what they wanted for Christmas.
One person posted a sign on a telephone pole by Jordan's home accusing the bank of stealing Christmas. Another person set up a tent on the home's front lawn — reminiscent of Occupy Wall Street — with a sign that said "Save the Snoopy House."
The outpouring of support and offers of help has been swift.
A local towing company went by the house Tuesday when Jordan was still there and offered to help him move the set pieces. A neighbor who runs a moving van company in Tustin has put out a similar offer.
Other neighbors are asking Jordan if they can store the Snoopy Christmas set, which includes a small house and stage.
"The logistics I haven't even begun to think about," he said. "This is incredibly heartbreaking for me. It really went a long way to healing my heart. It meant that all was not for naught."
Others are offering financial help. Though the home is now in the bank's hands, Jordan is still fighting in court to keep it.
He said he is looking to set up a legal fund within the next few days.
"We're holding on and keeping things paid, but every time the attorney hands me a bill, he's very fair, but it's still, 'Wow,'" Jordan said. "I could flat out use help there. That is tough to say. I'm the guy who gives; I'm not the guy who needs the help. But I need the help."