The home of a prominent Rapid City couple, Tom and Claudia Vucurevich, is scheduled to be sold next week at a mortgage-foreclosure auction.
Tom Vucurevich, 73, is the son of the late John T. Vucurevich, who made a fortune in banking and undertook numerous charitable endeavors, including the creation of the Rapid City-based Vucurevich Foundation.
The foundation, which includes Tom Vucurevich as a board member, awards millions of dollars in grants annually to support the arts, education, science and social welfare. The foundation is not involved in the Vucurevich family’s financial or legal problems.
Recently, those problems included the widely reported bankruptcy of Tom and Claudia Vucurevich’s son, Kent, of Sioux Falls, which was said to be the largest personal bankruptcy in South Dakota history.
The bankruptcy was filed in 2011, and the asserted claims from dozens of claimants grew to nearly $80 million, including a combined $13.34 million in claims attributed to either the Tom or Claudia Vucurevich living trusts or to Tom Vucurevich personally.
When the bankruptcy case was finally discharged in 2016, none of the claims by the Vucurevich trusts or Tom Vucurevich was paid, and other claimants got a combined total of only $463,841 while another $173,043 went to cover the expenses of the bankruptcy case.
Since the resolution of their son’s bankruptcy, the problems for Tom and Claudia Vucurevich have intensified and culminated in the foreclosure of their home.
Public court documents say their house at 1501 Flormann St. is owned by the Claudia L. Vucurevich Living Trust. The trust mortgaged the house in 2014 to help secure a $4.16 million loan from Plains Commerce Bank in Sioux Falls for one of the couple’s companies, 69th Street Holdings. The loan — one of several from the bank to Vucurevich businesses that are now in default — was additionally secured with a $2.56 million guaranty by the trust.
In August, when the bank commenced a foreclosure action, $1.3 million of principal and interest was owed on the loan for which the mortgage served as security.
A judge awarded the bank a judgment and decree of foreclosure in January and ordered a sheriff’s sale of the house. That sale is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Friday at the courthouse in Rapid City.
The judge set the fair and reasonable value of the house at $465,000, and the value of an adjoining lot at $80,000. The two properties could be sold separately, or could be sold together for a combined minimum of $545,000.
After the auction, the trust would still have 180 days to pay the debt. Failing that, the house and land would pass into the ownership of the high bidder, or into the ownership of the bank if there is no other bidder.
One of the affidavits in the foreclosure case is from Jason Appel, an executive vice president and branch manager for Plains Commerce Bank in Sioux Falls. In 2015, Appel spoke to the Argus Leader newspaper about the Vucureviches’ debts to the bank.
“Tom is a great man,” Appel was quoted as saying at the time. “He and his family have done a lot for the state and Rapid City. He has said he is going to sort his way through this, and we believe him.”
Appel did not respond this week to a phone message from the Rapid City Journal. The attorney for the bank, Scott Perrenoud of Sioux Falls, sent an email in response to a Journal phone message.
“Plains Commerce Bank holds Tom and Claudia Vucurevich in high regard and regrets that this foreclosure became necessary,” Perrenoud said, in part. “Optimism remains that the Vucureviches will be able to satisfy the mortgage debt or redeem the property from the foreclosure sale, if they so wish.”
The attorney for the Vucureviches, Mark O’Leary, declined to answer Journal questions, and a Journal attempt to reach the Vucureviches was unsuccessful.
In addition to the foreclosure action in Pennington County, Plains Commerce Bank has two other lawsuits in Minnehaha County against the Vucureviches and some of their companies. In one of those cases, a judgment and decree of foreclosure was awarded Feb. 6 against a piece of Sioux Falls real estate owned by a Vucurevich company, Arbors Edge Land Holdings. A judge set the value of that property at $421,600 and ordered a sheriff’s sale, but as of Friday, the court record did not include a date for that sale.