A bankruptcy judge ruled Wednesday that fallen auto mogul Denny Hecker no longer has a financial claim on his Medina mansion and so approved a settlement to put the house on the market.

The ruling came despite a last-minute objection Hecker filed with the court Wednesday without the help of an attorney. Hecker then failed to show up in court. In his stead was his clearly displeased bankruptcy attorney, Barbara May, and a baffled Judge Robert Kressel.

The judge asked May why she was in court when it was Hecker who filed and signed the motion request.

May said she found out Hecker had filed the motion on his own only an hour before the hearing started after she returned from vacation. She did not advise Hecker on the motion, she said.

Hecker is well known in Minnesota's auto dealership and legal community for his fondness for filing civil lawsuits, motions, objections and other proceedings that ultimately frustrate opponents.

In this case, Kressel said Hecker clearly had no legal footing. Then the judge approved a settlement between bankruptcy trustee Randy Seaver and auto dealer Morrie Wagener, a Hecker creditor, that will allow Hecker's $1.8 million Northridge Drive house to be put on the market.

The settlement will not allow any purchase agreement to become final until all parties agree in writing on the buyer, price and distribution of proceeds. A separate battle is brewing over those issues.

Wednesday's settlement agreement said it was not intended to resolve a lawsuit Seaver filed against Wagener and his New Buffalo Auto Sales last month. In that case, Seaver complained that Wagener unfairly gained preferential treatment over other Hecker creditors when he redeemed Hecker's home last month from a foreclosure sale for just $225,000.

Seaver said Wagener only redeemed the house so he could recoup a debt judgment he won against Hecker last year.

Hecker owes Wagener $325,000. Seaver insists proceeds from the house's ultimate sale belong to the bankruptcy estate and creditors. Arguments in that case will be heard later.

Dee DePass • 612-673-7725