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FRONT PAGE NEWS:
Fun, Friends and New Skills at Wheat Ridge Summer Camps

This summer, Wheat Ridge parents will never need to hear, “There’s nothing to do!” Children of all ages can look forward to summer full of great activities and camps offered by Wheat Ridge Parks and Recreation.

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FRONT PAGE NEWS:
Edgewater Kicks Off First Community Festival, May 12-14

Inspired by Edgewater Days, the three-day festival will offer a variety of activities for locals and visitors alike. Wildermiss, a local up and coming band, will be headlining the Edgewater Community Festival on Saturday night, May 13.

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NEIGHBORHOOD FEATURE:
The Wheat Ridge Historical Society Keeps History Alive

Deep Roots, Short Commutes. Wheat Ridge’s slogan is a nod not only to the city’s convenient location, but also to its rich heritage. The story of its past can’t be gleaned from apps or television screens but instead is found in lively conversations between neighbors and the quiet nostalgia of old photographs.

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NEIGHBORHOOD FEATURE:
‘An Artist of Much Ability’ – Martha Smith

Who deserves consideration as the first artist to live and work on West Colfax? Martha Adeline (nee King) Smith (1848-1916) qualifies, although it may really depend on how you define the word artist.

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By Cheri Jahn

As I sit down to write this article on day 56 of the Legislative Session, I am reminded of what a privilege it is to work on issues that provide care and oversight for our personal and community investments. Consumer protection is one of my key passions at the legislature.

A home is the biggest personal investment most of us will ever make. The recent foreclosure crisis tragically affected unprecedented numbers of our citizens. I am the Senate Prime Sponsor of House Bill 1090, concerning foreclosure finder fees.

After the foreclosure process is completed, there are often funds that remain payable to the former homeowner. I am deeply concerned about the deceptive practice of charging those who have gone through foreclosure exorbitant finders fees on what is essentially their own money. As the housing market has gotten stronger, fewer homes go into foreclosure. Those that do go to sale are selling at higher and higher prices. Often that means that the property sells for more than the owner owed the bank and any liens. The difference in the selling price and what is owed is called Excess Funds or Overbid Funds. That’s the money we’re trying to get back to the former owner.

Some of those former owners are being taken advantage of by people called Finders. Finders charge a hefty percentage and tell people in crisis that our Public Trustees are trying to keep their money. That’s blatantly false. Current law requires that these funds be returned to the former owner.

The bill provides for a clear contract that states the current practice: The Public Trustee will give the former owner the money without the use of a Finder. 

This bill addresses abuses within the Finder industry. The bill limits the premium (commonly referred to as a "finder's fee") that a person may charge for offering assistance in recovering the balance of the purchase price of a foreclosed property after all liens and claims against the property have been satisfied. The measure provides that any contract for finder's fee payments during the first six months of the public trustee's custody of the funds and during the first two years of the State Treasurer's custody of the funds is voided, and the finder's fee is capped at 20 percent of the amount recovered once these periods expire. For amounts that have been in the custody of the State Treasurer for three years or more, the finder's fee is capped at 30 percent. The bill also imposes additional contract requirements for finders, such as disclosing that the owner of the funds may obtain the funds free of charge without a finder's assistance. Violations of these provisions will be cause for criminal prosecution.

Contact Senate District 20 Senator Cheri Jahn at 303-866-4856 or senator@cherijahn.com.