Ambassador Carol Moseley Braun, Facing Foreclosure, Sells Short

Two years after she listed her Hyde Park home for sale with an optimistic asking price, former U.S. Senator and Ambassador Carol Moseley Braun has sold it as a short sale, for less than she owed on the mortgage. A lender had started the foreclosure process on the property in mid-September…

The recently sold home of Carol Moseley Braun

Two years after she listed her Hyde Park home for sale with an optimistic asking price, former U.S. Senator and Ambassador Carol Moseley Braun has sold it as a short sale, for less than she owed on the mortgage. A lender had started the foreclosure process on the property in mid-September.

Moseley Braun bought the vintage row home for $1.7 million in 2006. She sold it Tuesday for $1.205 million. That’s a 29 percent loss from her purchase price, nearly $500,000 less than she paid for the home. The property records kept by the Cook County Recorder of Deeds—an office she held from 1988 to 1992—are confused on the amount of her 2008 mortgage, thus it’s difficult to say what her debt to the lender was. The property was labeled a short sale by the seller’s agent, Diane Silverman of Urban Search, in a record of the transaction.

That puts an ironic twist on something she told me in 2010, when she was asking $1.9 million for the home. “I’m not into ‘buy high, sell low,’” she said then, when I noted that she was asking 11 percent more than the purchase price. At the time, the neighborhood’s going prices were instead markedly below where they had been in 2006, when she bought it.

She had not dropped the price since putting the home on the market; at the time of the sale, she was still asking $1.9 million.

In our 2010 interview, at the start of her mayoral campaign, Moseley Braun enthusiastically described it to me as “a magnificent English Arts and Crafts home, with fireplaces and leaded glass windows.” She had bought it to share with her son, Matthew. But he had opted not to move in with her, she said, and the home was too big for her alone.

I could not reach Moseley Braun for comment. Her listing agent, Diane Silverman of Urban Search, did not respond to a phone call.

The home is part of Hyde Park’s 56th Street Professors’ Row. Its architect was Murray D. Hetherington, designer of several picturesque homes in Beverly, including this one, which he built for himself and his poster-artist wife, Mildred.

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1 year ago
Posted by Nicholas Winters

A "flash"? The Tribune had this story yesterday online and in Wednesday's paper (http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/breaking/chi-former-sen-moseley-braun-sells-hyde-park-home-for-1205-million-20121016,0,7929218.story). And they actually had a lot of details about the foreclosure, including the exact amount Carol owed on her mortgage, straight from the actual foreclosure lawsuit itself (which has got to be a public record and available for anyone to view, right?). They also got a brief comment from Sen. Carol herself.

1 year ago
Posted by Dennis Rodkin

Nicholas, the information about the foreclosure lawsuit was added after the Tribune's original story was posted. Yes, it's public record. I am out of town and was reporting this story entirely by phone; that doesn't excuse my having less information on the case than the Tribune does, but explains it. Carol Moseley Braun did not respond to my phone call, although she did respond to the Tribune reporter's call.

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