TCF National Bank paid $7.01 million in a sheriff's sale for three Crosslake vacation homes belonging to bankrupt auto mogul Denny Hecker, the Crow Wing County Sheriff's Office said Tuesday.
Meanwhile, a large stash of Hecker's cars, boats, golf carts, and other luxury items were auctioned Tuesday evening by Fred W. Radde & Sons in New Germany, Minn.
The sale of the Crosslake property foiled Hecker's second effort to move to there.
Hecker, who is awaiting trial on fraud and other charges, last week asked a judge for permission to move to Crosslake as his current residence in Medina faces foreclosure. His attorney, Brian Toder, withdrew that request Tuesday afternoon.
TCF, the sole bidder at the sheriff's sale, had held a $7.2 million mortgage on the property. The Crosslake property contains at least three parcels of land with homes currently valued at $8.7 million, $1.27 million and $1.29 million.
Two adjacent parcels of land totaling 3.2 acres are still listed by Crow Wing County as held by Hecker's limited liability company Jacob Holdings. Hecker bought the lots in 2006. It is not immediately clear whether those properties are included in TCF's bid.
TCF's purchase kicks off a six-month "period of redemption" in which TCF is prohibited by law from selling the property or evicting Hecker, said Crow Wing Chief Deputy Debbie Backdahl.
Hecker had been allowing former employee James Gustafson and his wife to stay at the Crosslake residence.
'Al, we got it!'
In New Germany on Tuesday evening, some 485 bidders -- including 250 online -- gathered to bid for Hecker's luxury toys. Farmers, bankers, car dealers and others came out looking for a deal.
Dan Porter, a car dealer from Dickinson, N.D., spent the most, shelling out $90,000 on a 2005 Cobalt "343" boat that featured a bathroom, stereo system, GPS, cockpit cover and trailer. Porter, who says he's a longtime friend of Hecker's, said he plans to sell it at his dealership at a profit.
Smiling and pumping handshakes, Porter quipped: "I don't know if that's brain damage or a smile you see on my face."
Hecker's 2008 yellow Malibu Wakesetter boat, which had only 52 hours of use, was sold to Hecker's Medina neighbor Dianna Hunt for $48,000. Upon winning the bid from several suitors, she whipped out her pink cell phone to share the news with her husband.
"Al, we got it! We got it!" she said. Then she called her 11-year-old son, Brandon, who "really wanted this big."
As Hecker's neighbor in Medina, Hunt added: "I almost hate to bring this home tonight and roll it onto the driveway."
Many were eyeing Hecker's 2006 Cadillac Escalade two-seater golf cart with charger. That went for $11,200 to U.S. Bank retiree Ross Bartz, who said he was going to use it around his neighborhood in Hopkins.
"I need it," said Bartz, who uses a wheelchair. "Both my knees are bad. I can't walk at all."
Among the other items auctioned off: several Harley motorcycles, an Arctic Cat ATV, several Polaris ATVs, a Vespa, and a 2006 two-seater Tom Car, a 2004 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder car, and a 2002 Mitsubishi Montero. Everything sold.
"I think it did well," said Fred W. Radde III, who's been doing auctions for 46 years. "$11,200 for a golf cart is a little spendy, but overall people got a good product for their money."
The home foreclosures and the auction of personal property are a big letdown for the former auto mogul who once boasted 26 new and used car dealerships, the national Advantage Rent A Car chain, plus several fleet, lease and property operations.
The downfall came in the fall of 2008 when the recession hit the auto industry. Sales slowed. Former financing partner Chrysler Financial called Hecker's loans due and pulled his credit line. His businesses folded, prompting him to sue Chrysler Financial.
Chrysler Financial countersued and accused Hecker of fraud. In March, Hecker gave up his fight to have his debt forgiven in bankruptcy court, saying he preferred to focus on his criminal case. He has pleaded not guilty to the federal charges. He still owes creditors roughly $400 million.
A judge ruled Monday that Hecker's lawsuit against Chrysler Financial will soon be dismissed unless Hecker requests an extension.
Dee DePass • 612-673-7725