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Proud Annie Mystery Theatre saved from foreclosure, back on ‘solid’ ground

After facing foreclosure late last year, Proud Annie Mystery Theatre owner Braden McKinley seems to be looking at a brighter new year.
“We’re solid,” McKinley told the Herald & Tribune on Friday. “I got my loan modification, so Proud Annie will be taken off the foreclosure list. I will be making the first payment on my new loan today.”
McKinley said he was notified that his loan modification had been approved on Jan. 7.
McKinley bought the 153-year-old home located at 920 Old Boones Creek Road and turned it into his home and his business.
But like so many others nationwide, and because of several reasons, McKinley says he found himself in an “untenable” loan situation.
“I kept thinking my home in Santa Barbara, Calif., would sell, but it has been on the market for four years,” McKinley said. “I had a difficult time finding a lender so I had to accept a high mortgage rate that was interest only.”
The expense of mandatory flood insurance also added to the factors that McKinley says put him in a difficult situation.
Though some have questioned his strategy, McKinley said he feels he got good advice from a real estate attorney who advised him to quit paying his mortgage.
“It felt weird, though, not making my mortgage payments,” McKinley said. “I’ve paid all my bills all my life. But I stopped.”
McKinley says he had applied for a Home Affordable Modification Program loan, a federal program that helps people stay in their homes.
“But as long as I was paying my mortgage, they weren’t paying any attention to me and they weren’t the least bit interested in giving me the modification.
“They didn’t want my house. They just wanted my payments. So when the payments stopped, I got their attention.”
Once the loan modification was approved, McKinley says his mortgage went from an 8.75 percent adjustable, interest-only loan, to a 2 percent, 30-year fixed.
“They forgave all the late fees and put the unpaid amount on the end of the mortgage,” McKinley said. “For a good while it didn’t feel like my house, but now it feels like it’s mine again.
“Proud Annie will go on, and I hope it is a legacy that will continue on long after I’m gone.”