Formal Appeal Of Waterford Speedbowl Foreclosure Auction Sale Filed Monday Morning

Foreclosure Sign WaterfordThe courtroom saga that has surrounded the foreclosure auction of the Waterford Speedbowl will continue.

Michael Bonnano, attorney for creditor Ed DeMuzzio, confirmed Monday that a formal appeal of the approval of the foreclosure auction sale price was filed Monday morning with the state superior court in New London.

“The appeal was filed this morning,” Bonnano said. “I can’t comment any further than that.”

Multiple attempts to reach DeMuzzio Monday morning were unsuccessful.

It’s unclear exactly how the process moves forward at this time.

“I’m not permitted to say anything more,” Bonanno said. “… It wouldn’t benefit my client to comment further.”

The deadline to file the appeal was by the end of the business day Monday.

On Jan. 5, Superior Court Judge Emmet Cosgrove denied a motion by DeMuzzio to reconsider the previous approval of the auction sale price of the Speedbowl.

Bruce Bemer was the high bidder – at $1.75 million – in the foreclosure auction of the Speedbowl on Oct. 18.. The Glastonbury businessman has said he intends to continue to run the property as a racing facility.

On Nov. 14 Cosgrove had denied two objections to the sale price filed by DeMuzzio and his company, CCI Inc., essentially approving the sale price at that time, but opening the door for DeMuzzio to file a formal appeal.

DeMuzzio had filed the motion for the judge to reconsider his approval of the sale price on Dec. 3. DeMuzzio had been facing a deadline then to file a formal appeal of the approval of the sale when he filed the motion to reconsider.

The Jan. 5 ruling essentially put the case back to where it was Nov. 14 when Cosgrove approved the sale price, giving DeMuzzio the right to file a formal appeal of the sale price.

The formal appeal of the approval of sale could delay transfer of the property from owner Terry Eames to Bemer for more than a year and could put the 2015 racing season at the track in jeopardy. It’s unclear at this time if Eames could or would consider operating the track while the appeal goes through its steps.

DeMuzzio is at risk of losing $250,000, which includes about $110,000 invested in the property and about $140,000 in accrued interest, if the court approves the sale price.

On Nov. 17 DeMuzzio said: “Nobody is making any effort to try to help out here so I’ve got to what I’ve got to do. … It’s a lot of money. If it was fifty grand I would have said ‘That’s the way it goes’ but it’s not 50 grand and it’s just totally unfair. If we could get all the players that are involved to kick in a little bit, if I could just get half, some reasonable amount, I would be more than happy. I don’t need to get all my money back, I just want it to be fair.”

On Nov. 3 Cosgrove heard objections to the sale filed by DeMuzzio and CCI Inc. In his objection, DeMuzzio alleged that there was collusion between creditors Rocco Arbitell, Peter Borelli, Theodore Parker and Shawn Parker to keep the bidding price low for the auction. DeMuzzio also argued that the property should have been better marketed to attract a higher bid in favor of creditors to realize returns on their debts.

There was just over $2 million owed on the property by owner Terry Eames at the time of the auction. The property had recently been valued at about $3 million and was being advertised on the market for sale with an asking price of $3.3 million prior to the auction.

During the Jan. 5 hearing Bonnano told Cosgrove that DeMuzzio now alleges that Arbitell promised before the auction to bid high enough to protect DeMuzzio’s debt and that Arbitell then reneged on that deal during the auction. Cosgrove told Bonnano that his previous arguments had not indicated that to be so.

In denying the motion on Jan. 5 to reconsider the approval of the sale price, Cosgrove said there was “nothing … that makes the court doubt the fairness of the sale price.”

In July 2007, Arbitell, a Southbury businessman and local racing supporter, along with his business associate Borrelli, stepped in to offer Eames and his ownership group, 1080 Hartford Road LLC, financing to avoid a foreclosure action being taken then by former mortgage holder Washington Mutual Bank. The deal with Arbitell was announced a day before the track’s auction date for a foreclosure in 2007.

In May 2008 Arbitell brought his own foreclosure action against the ownership group after former track operator Jerry Robinson failed to pay the Speedbowl’s property taxes.

Facing another pending foreclosure auction, Eames and 1080 Hartford Road LLC filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in October 2009. A debt reorganization plan was accepted by bankruptcy court in January 2012 and the ownership cleared bankruptcy not long after that.

In March 2013, Arbitell and the rest of the creditors involved in the bankruptcy moved to have foreclosure action retaken against the Speedbowl ownership, which led to the Oct. 18 auction.

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  1. Fu pizza man says

    Bet dollars to doughnuts it opens in March now with Terry and company running it. Heaven help anyone who bashed him and his wife!

  2. Former scale guy Bob says

    Well there goes this season and possibly all seasons to come. I feel bad for Bruce Bemer. I still think there are more snakes in the grass than anyone thinks… It’s sad to end this way….

  3. This is extortion on the part of DeMuzzio. He wants to hold this up in the hopes that Mr. Bemer will get frustrated and walk away. From what I understand they made him an offer to soften his loss, but he wasn’t interested. Not sure what his expectation was, given he wasn’t the primary lender. Not even sure if he was a secondary or a tertiary creditor. If I was Mr. Bemer, I would immediately file a counter suit against DeMuzzio for loss of revenue. He could make the case that these needless delays caused the Bowl to lose out on the WMT and MRS series events, which always packed the house.

  4. Cmon Jerry extortion? see below for definition:

    the practice of obtaining something, especially money, through force or threats.
    synonyms: blackmail, shakedown; formalexaction
    “arrested on a charge of extortion”

  5. Mr. DeMuzzio is not making a lot of friends right now. I wonder how much money he is spending on all of this legal wrangling. If the sale to Mr. Bemer is negated, then the property is in the same ownership situation is was last year. I don’t see why Mr. Eames couldn’t operate the track until a new auction is held. Unless there just isn’t enough capital in place to do it. I certainly hope Mr. Bemer doesn’t sour of this whole thing and walk away.

  6. Speedbowler says

    If Terry and crew thinks he can get cars to come to the track after he blew off the Banquet those racers deserved he’s out of his mind. Pizza boy should worry about 2 Wives and stop investing in a business that was already in a downward spiral due to Terry Eames failure to pay expenses. As a supporter of the track the past 35 years it sadly seems it will not open this year and racer will go else where. Which will make it harder to convince them to return. DeMuzzio and Eames are in collusion and it’s obvious.

  7. I’m not worried. The 2015 season would go on a Hiatus or go to a part time schedule like Thompson dose now. It could work. Then it will come back in 2016 riding strong.

  8. darealgoodfella says

    Shawn, are you going to get to the court and review the appeal papers for us?

  9. Offer Mr. DeMuzzio Free Billboard Advertisement At The Track For A Couple of Years & Ends This Already

  10. No, I won’t be able to make it to the court today.

  11. former scale guy Bob says

    I agree with Speedbowler. I have said time and again about snakes in the grasses. Only thing is most racers will go back and that’s sad to me
    People who ran the place into the ground and totally screwed the crews and drivers and owners should not even be able to reopen.

  12. I agree with fu pizza man and former scale guy.

    Modfan, extortion is probably the wrong word however he is holding good honest people holding hostage.

    I for one am glad the suspense is over. If anyone thought this was going to go any different they had to be living under a stone.

    I just hope if the current owner opens the facility he gets boycotted by each and every driver, owner, crew and fan. Enough of the games, paying in for a banquet and getting nothing, not getting paid for the last race, enough is enough. Boycotting the current owner will send a message to the potential new owner that you want change and are willing to sit it out until you get what you deserve. Put your support where it deserves to be, with Mr. Bemer for a long awaited and overdue change.

  13. crazy larry says

    I don’t know sound like if you let the man run the pizza stand you mite have good pizza, since he owns one ! HE can recoup his cash and put up a billboard for his computer business work it out an everyone is happy PS. That track pizza suck just an idea maybe?

  14. While I think no one will dispute the legalities of what Mr. DeMuzzio is doing, the fact that he waited until the last possible moment to appeal shows me he’s a spiteful person. His spitefulness (is that a word?) wrongly impacts Mr. Beemer, the competitors and the fans, none of which had anything to do with this mess. I also don’t agree with the knee-jerk reaction of some of the people above who are ready to sweep the track under the rug. Just calm down and let it play out.

  15. Please don’t loose this track we already lost west haven speedway, Danbury, Pllainville,riverside, all to corporate creed, pay the guy off and save the bowl.they are not building tracks anymore.

  16. speedbowl racer / fan says

    This is sad to see watching the bowl die from greedy people and people who have made bad decisions. It’s not just them affected my sponsors have pulled out and don’t want to be part of the racing world any more.I’m shure I’m not the only one. We may have seen the end of the bowl due to this. How many teams are going out of business because of thies people. I will be getting my pizzas from empire no more two wives for me at work.

  17. darealgoodfella says

    Somebody go and get a copy of the appeal and see what the basis of the appeal is.

  18. Youhavenoidea says

    Well because it is in court and due to the auction technically terry cannot open the track even tho he is still listed as the owner. When there is a appeal it cannot be opened or no other foreclosure measures can be take meaning tax leans etc but no terry can’t open the track either

  19. JustMyThoughts says

    Youhavenoidea… your input seems plausible, but I would like to know if you can give more information that backs up what you say. Or Shawn… can you confirm as to whether this is credible information, or just another of many opinions?

  20. I agree with Speedy; He’s purposely drawing this out to cause as much pain as to Mr. Bemer as possible. He waits until the 19th day to either request a reconsideration or file the appeal. He knew on Dec 5th and on Jan 6th that he was filing the appeal, but he drew it out to cause the longest possible delay. Why didn’t he file the appeal last week or the week before? If he loses the next appeal I’m sure he will appeal it again and again and again. Very frustrating.

  21. Shawn if the bowl doesn’t race in 2015 can Thompson take back Saturday as their racing day. How does that work and is that through NASCAR .

  22. JustMyThoughts,
    My understanding is that the business on the property can continue to operate, though I haven’t gotten final confirmation on that.

  23. Gregsacksfan,
    That would be situation that would involve requesting from NASCAR, though I highly doubt that’s something the management at Thompson is interested in at this point. I think the Saturday focus is on road course events at the facility now.

  24. I’m not going to the track until it is the hands of new ownership. I gotta believe Terry is not going to be interested in opening the track – it’s not making money, and its not like he can turn it around and make it heavily profitable.

    And he gave the racers a big F U by not having a banquet.

    Rather, I think he’s buying time hoping to get CL&P – or someone else – interested in it again with this appeal and show the court he has a potential buyer for more than 1.75 Million.

    It’s all about covering HIS financial tail – he even said he turned down an offer that was for 2+ million. DeMuzzio just happens to be his best opportunity for buying that time.

    I think it’s a longshot, but stranger things have happened.

    As for the racers? I think those that planned on racing in 2015 already had contingency plans on the board – headed to Thompson or Seekonk. Those that were still holding out hope for a Speedbowl season to be salvaged? Kiss it goodbye now, and focus on Thompson or Seekonk or 2016.

    Better chance of the place burning to the ground in 2015 than opening for a racing season.

    This appeal is going to kill the hope

  25. Youhavenoidea says

    Well seeing as I work for a real estate attorney and pretty knowledgable in the laws that unfortunately as mush as I would like to be wrong I am like 95% sure that I am correct and he cannot operate it bc it technically belongs to the court at this time.

  26. I guess it’s ok for Mr DeMuzzio to to ask Arbitell to rig the bidding to push the price higher ,but because he didn’t Mr Demuzzio is all bent out of shape .Such it up and take your lost and move on

  27. They are building more tracks
    However they are road courses
    Seems there is more money in that
    Changing with the times
    The road course in Palmer Ma is scheduled to open in 2915
    Seems to me the owners of the tracks are tired of the politics that Nascar Brings and their lack of support for the smaller tracks where Nascar was brought up on
    Shame on u Nascar!!!

  28. Pizza head is waiting for Bemer to get tired of waiting and when this all ends next year, hopes Bemer doesn’t pay his down payment so it will have to go back to auction! That’s why he’s doing what he’s doing!

  29. Andy Da Woodchuck says

    By him not having a banquet..he basically took the money and ran with it. PS CL-P bought the land next to the New Coca Cola plant so that aint happening

  30. Wish Seekonk would run Sk mods, Stafford will be packed and Thompson is tour shows or Wed nights only. Might just sit year out and save money.

  31. Andy – thanks, I was not aware CL&P made that purchase. The shot got even longer now in my eyes.

  32. Seekonk should explore adding 6 or 8 SK events in 2015 and see where it goes.

  33. The road course is for rich man paridice and wine and cheese people.

  34. as I said before, the pizza man was feeling out the judge and others to see if he could get favorable results for himself, the judge didn’t fall for it and neither did anyone else, now it’s back to court to try to get a ruling again in the pizza man’s favor, he does have the right to try it, weather we (the race fans) like it or not, as for racing to continue at the track only time will tell, in my opinion if the track loses it’s Saturday night status I do feel that will be the final nail that will cause the track to end up being closed for good, and what about Terry, doesn’t he still have the right to file an appeal also, on the sale of the track? This saga is far from done, there are years in court to come…

  35. I hope that they get this mess cleared up. We can not having another race track lose its doors.

  36. Hey Shawn, how about an update on the appeal. I have heard/read there may be a deal in the works but no one is saying anything else. I would think this info would be of interest to us racers/fans. Any good news at all can’t hurt, all I hear is that it is time to stick a fork in the bowl. Thanks for the great work you do keep us informed regarding the Speedbowl and other racing topics of interest.

  37. Larry,
    There’s a lot of rumors floating around. Just rumor right now. As soon as something is official it will be reported here.

  38. Shawn, everyone can’t wait to read your official announcement and an update on the 2015 plans for racing at the bowl. I did see there is a new story out that Terry Eames just announced he is holding a banquet for last year. Not sure how successful it will be with most if not all of us racers still waiting to get paid from some races last year and no one knowing if there will even be racing in 2015. I do know our team will not be attending if a check does not show up in my mailbox very soon. One question, why is no one allowed to post comments regarding the banquet? Is this just a computer glitch or possibly a request from someone else. Inquiring minds like mine would like to know.

  39. Larry,
    Bill McNeil is actually the one spearheading the banquet, and financing it, with some organizational assistance from Terry Eames and the Speedbowl management. Bill is putting the money up to get the event scheduled and reserved with the hopes that he can break even on the event. Anything more than breaking even on the event will be donated to charity. The comments on that particular post were actually turned off because, unfortunately, there are too many people who would rather use that space to post comment after comment after comment filled with vulgarities and personal insults.

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