The childhood home of tennis superstars Venus and Serena Williams is set to be placed on a foreclosure auction after their estranged stepmother’s appeal to a bankruptcy court has been denied.
A Florida federal court judge has dismissed Lakeisha Williams’ Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing, according to RadarOnline.com. Williams is the third wife of Venus and Serena’s father, Richard Williams. The couple is in the midst of a divorce, with Richard accusing his soon-to-be ex-wife of illegally transferring the property to her name.
Located in Palm Beach Gardens, the home was purchased in 1995 by Venus and Serena’s parents, Richard and their mother Oracene Price. The couple paid $335,000 for the 3,442 square foot home that included four bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms. Richard Williams remained in possession of the home when the couple divorced. When he married Lakeisha Williams in 2009, this became their residence. After filing for divorce in 2017, Lakeisha Williams took over the residence, Daily Mail reports.
Court documents revealed that Lakeisha admitted to the illegal transfer after Richard’s attorneys argued that he was incapcitated at the time of the mortgage transfer as he had suffered two strokes, dementia and brain damage.
Lakeisha borrowed $152,000 against the home from lender David Simon in February 2017 after forging Richard’s handwriting. She later borrowed another $127,000 to launch a trucking business. However, the business venture flopped and Lakeisha only repaid $25,000.
Simon sued the couple and the presiding judge ruled in his favor. The soon-to-be-divorced couple were ordered to repay Simon the loan amount and interest, as well as attorney fees. In total: $513,213.67.
The original foreclosure auction was set for June 28 but in an effort to save the property, LaKeisha filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, placing a hold on the sale. In addition to the money owed to Simon, LaKeisha also owes bank lenders and the IRS almost $1 million. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court said that LaKeisha had not completed the bankruptcy form by July 7.
Simon placed a lien against the property and appealed to the court requesting that the Chapter 13 bankruptcy not be approved as Lakeisha’s spending habits were frivolous.
“She cannot afford to make an $11,000 a month payment,” Simon said the court, according to RadarOnline. As a result of Simon’s appeal, the presiding trustee agreed and the judge threw out the case.
Lakeisha will have to repay her creditors without the protection of Chapter 13 bankruptcy court protection and the home will be sold at a foreclosure auction at a date to be determined.