Last month, Kingston Estates Swim Club set out to raise $100,000 in pledges, hoping the money would convince TD Bank to forego foreclosure proceedings. As of Feb. 19, the club has raised nearly $94,000 in that effort.
But Bob Mangels, president of KESC’s board of directors, said representatives of the bank want to get an appraisal of the property before making any decision on foreclosure.
“We’re sitting here in limbo,” Mangels acknowledged.
As it currently stands, Kingston owes TD just short of $400,000. The club’s principal balance is $320,000, with $67,000 in arrears. Accrued interest is $71,000, and the club has about $9,000 in late charges.
As of late January, TD was advancing foreclosure proceedings. Kingston’s board decided that demonstrating some sort of financials might save the property. Club treasurer George Muench said his research showed that “bad loans” can typically be forgiven for 25 cents on the dollar, so he calculated that if Kingston could generate $100,000, TD might be inclined to end foreclosure proceedings.
During a two-week period, the board received an outpouring of support, with both current and former club members and Cherry Hill residents and businesses pledging donations, Mangels said. Other area swim clubs even chipped in, namely Cherry Valley Swim Club, Willowdale Swim Club and Haddontowne Swim Club.
Mangels said TD wants an appraisal before anything can happen to ensure that KESC’s offer is in the ballpark of the land’s value, but the club has waited a week and a half for an update.
In the meantime, the board isn’t sure what to do about the 2020 season. Mangels said the club would normally be hiring managers, lifeguards and other staff now, and getting the place in shape prior to opening. But club officials are unsure where they stand with the bank.
The board plans to go back to TD and ask that it accelerate the appraisal process.
“We’re at their mercy,” Mangels admitted.
Martha Gaston, senior corporate communications manager at TD, told The Sun earlier this month that the bank could not comment on the matter.
“TD Bank’s customers expect that their transactions with us will remain confidential,” Gaston said.
The club will hold a general membership meeting in the basement of Resurrection Catholic School on Sunday, March 1. Mangels said the hope is to have an update from TD Bank at that time. If not, the club will ask the general membership whether to proceed with plans to open for the summer or cancel the season.
In the meantime, KESC still is collecting pledges as it waits for a response from TD. If the bank does agree to the offer, KESC will ask anyone who did pledge to send the donation within a two-week window.
Those interested in pledging can do so by contacting the club via email at KESCPledge@gmail.com.