Ed McMahon Is Staying Put

LOS ANGELES  — Ed McMahon can stay put.

Publicist Howard Bragman confirmed Thursday that the TV icon and his wife have no plans to move from their home, which has been facing foreclosure for nine months.

Bragman said he doesn't have details about the deal that's allowing the 85-year-old McMahon to stay, but added: "They ain't leaving."

Public records show there was a series of transfers of the loans last month on McMahon's house, which is in a hilltop gated community that's also home to Britney Spears.

A Southern California company, Foreclosure Trackers Inc., has taken credit for brokering the deal and say they plan to negotiate a better deal for McMahon.

Robert Lee, the company's chief executive officer, said earlier his year that his aim was to prevent McMahon from having to move.

"My goal from day one was to make sure he stays in his home," Lee said.

He said foreclosure proceedings against McMahon won't be closed, but will be postponed indefinitely. He said the deal offers the McMahons lower payments on their home, but that their situation will be evaluated every three months.

"They are not getting a free ride," Lee said.

Public records show Countrywide Financial Corp., which issued a default notice on McMahon's home earlier this year, transferred the loan to a company called DCI Technology Holdings. A subsequent filing indicates the loan was transferred to a limited liability corporation recently established by a Northern California business lawyer, Peter Liebow.

Lee declined to say who had an interest in the corporation, but said he did not own a share of the loan. He said the new owners are "a group of capital market investors" from Northern California.

Lee said he worked for months on the McMahon house deal and his intention is to try to help other homeowners in similar situations.

While Foreclosure Trackers' name does not appear on the transfer documents, some of those familiar with the deal say Lee and the company acted as middlemen.

"Foreclosure Trackers was involved in helping the transaction between Countrywide and a third party," said Jumana Bauwens, a Countrywide spokeswoman.

She said the company no longer has any control over foreclosure proceedings. "We're happy for Mr. McMahon," she said.

The former "Tonight" show sidekick for Johnny Carson has faced a series of money problems since he broke his neck in a fall last March. He has been sued over unpaid loans and legal fees for his daughter's divorce, and has sued a Los Angeles hospital that he claims failed to diagnose his broken neck and botched two surgeries.

For months, several people, including Lee and Donald Trump, have pledged to help McMahon and save his house.

Trump stepped aside from his bid to buy McMahon's home when Lee contacted him months ago and said he could work out a better offer, said Michael Cohen, an executive vice president with the Trump Organization and Trump's special counsel.

The mogul has monitored negotiations and Cohen said Trump was satisfied.

"Mr. McMahon remains in his home," Cohen said. "Clearly the efforts of everybody paid off."

In a time of bleak financial news, Bragman expressed hope that the resolution to McMahon's situation served as a good omen.

"We hope every other American in trouble has the same experience," he said.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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