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Couple gets four months to pay off Wimauma farm's $620,000 debt

TAMPA — Sharon Salyer has four months to save the farm.

At a court hearing Thursday morning, her attorney didn't contest a foreclosure filed by the lender. But Salyer and her husband were pleased to get the maximum amount of time — 120 days — before the bank can sell the Wimauma farm.

Over the next four months, the Salyers hope to find investors to pay off the nearly $620,000 owed.

"This was good," Gregory Salyer said after the hearing. "Time is critical."

Thirty-one years ago, when Sharon Salyer was 7, a medical mistake stole her vision. A settlement with the hospital guaranteed her $7,000 monthly payments for life.

Salyer agreed to help her father buy the farmland in 1990 with the understanding her name would also be put on the title. But it wasn't.

Last year, a judge ordered her parents to turn over a half-interest in the farm. During the legal battle, her parents stopped paying on the loan, and the lender, Farm Credit of Central Florida, started foreclosure proceedings.

For over a year, the Salyers have been working to stop the foreclosure.

Sharon Salyer's parents, Andrew and Yee Ho Chu, didn't show up at Thursday's hearing.

Senior Judge Sandra Taylor set the foreclosure date for 120 days, the maximum time she could give. Many foreclosure dates are set 30 days out.

The bank's attorneys said they want to get the property off their hands as soon as possible, but they didn't contest the sale date: Jan. 26.

"I hope this works out for you," Taylor said.

Outside the courtroom, Sharon Salyer smiled.

"I'm very pleased to hear what the judge came up with," she said.

Times staff writers Colleen Jenkins and Danny Valentine contributed to this report. Jessica Vander Velde can be reached at jvandervelde@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3433.

Couple gets four months to pay off Wimauma farm's $620,000 debt 09/30/10 [Last modified: Friday, October 1, 2010 12:25am]
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