Cathay Bank forecloses on furniture maker’s Pacific Palisades mansion

Chinatown-based lender Cathay Bank has foreclosed on a Pacific Palisades mansion that was once on the market for $26 million, The Real Deal has learned. 

The property, located at 880 Vista Pacifica Street, was sold at a public auction with $14.4 million of unpaid debt, property records show. Cathay paid $5 million for the property. 

The bank provided a $13.8 million loan on the mansion in June 2021. Cathay filed a default notice on the property in January 2023, claiming that the previous owner, Frank Hai Lin, fell behind on $13.1 million in debt. Cathay filed three more default notices afterwards. 

The last notice, from June 2023, claimed that the unpaid balance on the asset had grown to $14.3 million. According to court records, Hai Lin, who runs an El Segundo-based manufacturer of office furniture called Cherryman Industries, failed to pay off a $13.8 million portion of the loan before its maturity date on Feb. 28, 2022. 

The property was first listed for $26 million in January 2022, according to a Zillow listing. After nearly six months on the market, the asking price was cut to $19.6 million. 

The mansion, a four-bedroom, 8,500-square-foot home that sits on a private street, has a guest house, a greenhouse, an artist’s studio, an indoor pool and a spa. When it was first listed, the property was pitched as a tear-down. “Develop the existing home or design a new one,” a listing on Redfin read.

The foreclosure adds to the list of distressed properties in L.A.’s wealthiest enclaves. In December, Chicago-based lender Cam XV Trust acquired a mansion perched above the Sunset Strip at a foreclosure auction. The property, which was supposedly infused with positive energy from a “museum-quality curated crystal collection,” changed hands with $21 million in unpaid debt. 

In September, investor Cody Holmes filed for bankruptcy on a Beverly Hills mansion to block one of his lenders from foreclosing on the property. 

Pacific Palisades has figured in top home sales, with one $20 million mansion trading on the first business day of 2024. Another sold later the same week for $24.5 million. Last year the neighborhood grabbed headlines as the spot where Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck went into escrow on a $64 million home, only to pull out and buy one in Beverly Crest for about $61 million.

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