GOULDSBORO, Maine — Local lobster dealer Dana Rice was the top bidder Tuesday in an auction for a 2-acre wharf property where he has run his waterfront business for several years.
An auction for a much larger adjacent property, the 148-acre Ocean Wood Campground, had no bidders. Nicholas Bayley, whose company Schoodic Point LLC is trying to foreclose on the campground, said after the auction that he wished someone had been willing to bid the minimum price of $5.5 million on the larger property. Because there was none, Bayley said, he planned to hold onto the campground for now and hopefully find a buyer down the road. He said he is not sure what he will do with the property in the meantime, but would like to see it continue operating as a campground for at least this summer.
“I hope so,” he said, standing outside by the wharf that Rice won at auction.
Rice’s winning bid was $345,000 for the wharf and the land surrounding an adjacent lobster pound.
But the man who Bayley is foreclosing upon is not giving up the wharf or the campground without a legal fight. James Brunton, who tried unsuccessfully last month to stave off the foreclosure auction by filing for bankruptcy, on Monday filed an appeal of his bankruptcy’s dismissal, according to his bankruptcy attorney, David Johnson of Portland. Federal bankruptcy Judge Louis Kornreich ruled on Feb. 20 that Brunton could not file for bankruptcy because his properties were uninsured, a requirement under federal bankruptcy law.
Johnson said Monday evening in an e-mail that since Kornreich’s decision, Brunton has been able to insure the property.
“We’ve notified Schoodic [Point LLC's] counsel of this and the fact that the filings invoke automatic stay [of the foreclosure],” Johnson said. “Notwithstanding the filings, Schoodic’s counsel has indicated that they intend to proceed with the auction despite the fact that this will be a clear violation of the automatic stay.”
In a separate e-mail, Bayley’s bankruptcy attorney, John McVeigh of Portland, indicated that Monday’s bankruptcy filings — one for the campground and one of its parent company J.A. Brunton Inc. — were insufficient for delaying the auction.
“They are deficient filings, again,” McVeigh wrote. “I am moving for emergency relief, again.”