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Foreclosure Starts On Hostage’s Property

December 14, 1987

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (AP) _ Foreclosure proceedings have begun on a piece of land owned by a professor who has been held hostage in Beirut nearly a year.

Foreclosure on his house, however, has been stalled by federal mortgage authorities. The house is in Grand Junction, the property just outside the city limits.

Mithileshwar Singh, a citizen of India, was chairman of the business studies division at Beirut University when he was abducted along with three American faculty members Jan. 24.

Singh lived in Grand Junction from 1976 to 1982, teaching business economics at the now-defunct Western Colorado University.

Last week, Mesa County Public Trustee Candace DeRose published a notice advertising the Jan. 6 sale of the land owned by Singh and his wife, Lalmani.

An attorney for Henry Patterson Jr., who sold the property to Singh, said that his client was reluctant to go forward but that the property went into default in July 1986, and two years’ taxes had not been paid.

″The Pattersons were extremely concerned about his plight and they were very hesitant to do anything that would add to their stress and their problems,″ lawyer Bruce Palo said.

Palo said he tried in June to contact Mrs. Singh by letter in Beirut but has had no response. ″We delayed initiating the foreclosure by five months to make sure they had a chance to contact us,″ he said.

The Singhs’ home also is in foreclosure but officials handling that case have put the process on hold.

Gary Alstatt, executive vice president of Mesa Federal Savings & Loan and the officer who made the loan to the Singhs about 10 years ago, said the loan was sold to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp., or Freddie Mac, and that Mesa Federal simply services the loan for the large national mortgage lender.

Mesa Federal told Freddie Mac about the hostage situation earlier this year and were instructed to put the case on indefinite hold, said Kim Huber, loan service manager.

″I think that’s kind of nice for a big company like that to show some compassion,″ he said.