Creditors stand in way of bankruptcy

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Creditors are lining up to contest an Evans businesswoman's attempt to cancel her debts through bankruptcy.

Regina Preetorius and her husband, Charles "Greg" Preetorius, filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy in August, seeking relief from $2.47 million in debts.

This month, Darryl Johnson and Valerie Whittle-Johnson joined the chorus of those accusing Mrs. Preetorius of fraud, alleging she cheated them out of a $100,000 investment.

An investigation by The Augusta Chronicle found the Johnsons and dozens of others lost their homes and life savings after going to Mrs. Preetorius for help to catch up with mortgages or sell their homes, to buy or lease homes, or to invest in properties.

Last week, the bankruptcy trustee in charge of the Preetorius case filed a motion asking the judge to allow him to join those wanting to stop the couple from erasing their debts.

Also last week, Chapter 7 trustee A. Stephenson Wallace asked the judge to allow him to bring in the law firm of Klosinski Overstreet to help him sort through the tangled Preetorius business finances.

And U.S. Trustee Donald F. Walton asked the judge for more time to file his own complaint in the case.

Judge Susan D. Barrett hasn't ruled on the petitions that seek to stop the Preetoriuses from discharging their debts.

On Wednesday, however, Judge Barrett did sign an order that allowed a mortgage company to foreclose on the Preetoriuses' Windmill Lane home.

The Preetoriuses admitted they had not made a mortgage payment in more than a year, but they challenged the mortgage company's right to foreclose on the $567,000 loan, which had been bundled and sold to another mortgage company.

The Preetoriuses blame the crash of the real estate market for the financial bind that set off more than 40 foreclosures and numerous bankruptcies.

Several of those who dealt with Mrs. Preetorius, however, allege fraud.

The Johnsons' petition contends Mrs. Preetorius gave them security deeds on four properties in exchange for their $100,000 investment.

Though the properties were titled to Mrs. Preetorius' company, SDA & Associates, each was still under original mortgages. The Johnsons contend she never told them of the original mortgages, which are now in default.

The Johnsons contend their reliance on Mrs. Preetorius' honesty and professionalism was reasonable given a letter of reference from the Reimer Law Firm.

The Johnsons are among the people Mrs. Preetorius persuaded to give her nearly $3.7 million in exchange for security deeds on properties.

Another couple who has asked to intervene in the Preetoriuses' bankruptcy, Brian and Kim Fichtner, allege they were cheated out of $6,250 they put down in a lease purchase agreement with Mrs. Preetorius. They were evicted from their West Lynne Drive home in Martinez, they contend, when Mrs. Preetorius stopped making payments on the original mortgage.

According to their petition, Mrs. Preetorius stopped making the payments in October 2007, two months before she signed their lease purchase agreement.

Reach Sandy Hodson at (706) 823-3226 or sandy.hodson@augustachronicle.com.

Comments (19) Add comment
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THOMSON
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THOMSON 11/16/08 - 03:20 am
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Greed! Greed! Greed! She

Greed! Greed! Greed! She needs to have to pay these people back. I hope they don't let her file for bankruptcy.

karmakills123
8
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karmakills123 11/16/08 - 06:23 am
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Please Please do not let this

Please Please do not let this bottom feeder get away with this.......If there is any justice at all left... this woman will spend the rest of her greedy life paying back all that she has stolen..........

to tell the truth1
123
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to tell the truth1 11/16/08 - 09:21 am
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It would have made more sense

It would have made more sense to go into their life savings and catch up on the payments instead of being fooled into a"too good to be true" circumstance.

NANF
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NANF 11/16/08 - 09:32 am
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Why do you go in to so much

Why do you go in to so much debt that you get your self in to a mess like this? It didn't happen over night, so your lifestyle came back to bite ya in the butt. Was a gun pointed at you that made you sign with the woman? More than once in some cases? Grow up, suck it up and pay your bills.

Goaliemom1987
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Goaliemom1987 11/16/08 - 09:35 am
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Not all people have life

Not all people have life savings to pull from,People now a days have to live week to week and can't save.They look for financial business to help them manage their debt. When things are looking bad,these "too good to be true" business are sometimes the only way to go.

Cody_Webster
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Cody_Webster 11/16/08 - 09:40 am
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greed begat greed, the

greed begat greed, the proverbial wanting something for nothing or nearly nothing. The old "If you get away with it, O-boy, but get caught or lose your pants, then boo-hoo, I was cheated, please help me".

MyOpinion2
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MyOpinion2 11/16/08 - 09:51 am
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Regina Preetorius and her

Regina Preetorius and her husband, Charles "Greg" Preetorius need to be thrown in jail and the key thrown away! FRAUD! is all this was! They knew what they were doing! They also need to PAY BACK all the money they STOLE from INNOCENT folks! THIS is why our economy is in such a shambles, folks like these 2 with GREED and FRAUD on their minds.

gcap
290
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gcap 11/16/08 - 11:52 am
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If it looks too good to be

If it looks too good to be true, it is. Let me type that again -- IF IT LOOKS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE, IT IS. IT IS A LIE!!!!! It's everybody's fault and I don't want the government to bail anyone out. Put the hustlers in jail. Let the so-called victims start over.

BakersfieldCityLimits
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BakersfieldCityLimits 11/16/08 - 01:01 pm
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Lets all slow down on this

Lets all slow down on this one, really! Let Presidient Obama take over and then lets tackle issues such as this. I'm sure that it can be worked out with a little assistance from the government. We elected a man with plans, not just the old tired support the rich mentality of the previous administration.

BarstoolDreamer
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BarstoolDreamer 11/16/08 - 02:40 pm
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LOL!!!!!...yea obama is going

LOL!!!!!...yea obama is going to fix this. He is filling his positions with clinton staffers...It looks like "hope and change" means political paybacks....I guess I am going to stop paying my bills and wait for the free ride.

Riverman1
82181
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Riverman1 11/16/08 - 03:15 pm
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Her picture looks like the

Her picture looks like the woman on "Dog the Bounty Hunter."

BakersfieldCityLimits
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BakersfieldCityLimits 11/16/08 - 03:54 pm
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Barstooldreamer, why would

Barstooldreamer, why would you not want to share your good fortune with those in the collective that are less well off?

BarstoolDreamer
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BarstoolDreamer 11/16/08 - 04:03 pm
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Why would the "less well off"

Why would the "less well off" not want to try harder and make something of themselves? Lets just give them money...that has worked so far.

gcap
290
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gcap 11/16/08 - 05:31 pm
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Let's keep the government out

Let's keep the government out of it. Just send me some cash and I won't make a claim to the feds.

BakersfieldCityLimits
1
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BakersfieldCityLimits 11/16/08 - 05:59 pm
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Trying harder is not enough

Trying harder is not enough sometimes, a little help from the government to equalize results is needed in some cases.

BarstoolDreamer
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BarstoolDreamer 11/16/08 - 06:04 pm
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equalize = communism btw

equalize = communism btw

jack
10
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jack 11/16/08 - 07:05 pm
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Fraud at it's worst. Make'em

Fraud at it's worst. Make'em pay it back and then put them in jail for fraud. Find those off shore accounts.

sneakypete
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sneakypete 11/16/08 - 08:51 pm
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Regina is a [filtered word]by all

Regina is a [filtered word]by all accounts. She has been doing this all over this state and into others. She claims the market collapse did this, but that's not true. She kept using 'investors' - who were people that got brought into an attorney's office, Reimers, and were convinced that at the very worst they would end up owning a home at a fraction of the cost. It worked because of the attorney's role in the scam. More will come out on this. There are 2 mortgage companies shaking in their boots right now about what might hapen. He who talks first stays outta jail methinks.

kk19299
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kk19299 11/18/08 - 03:39 pm
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How can anyone live in big

How can anyone live in big house in Windmill of all places for a year without making a single house payment!! Is this what our system is doing for us? There must be something wrong with out laws. I am sure if I didn't make my payments...I would be out in the street in less than 3 months!

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