OPINION | Judge’s finger pointing clarification        

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I STILL want to reiterate my sincere appreciation for former Judge Juan T. Lizama willingness to become my silent Business Partner.

However, I was disappointed to see a Judge make “UN-TRUE” claims which is why I am compelled to respond in-kind to the frivolous finger pointing of guilt in the loss of his property. First and foremost, as a “partner” the Judge SHARED in the risk & benefits of the venture but he is the one who did nothing to save his land and he doesn’t want to accept his loss even though I lost a lot more in the sum of over 50k and thousands of man-hours working to save the business and his land — I gave it my ALL.  

The Facts

The CDA Loan was in my name but Judge Lizama chose to take the risk as a silent partner with the potential of regaining his property free and clear along with 15% of the net profits after the loan was paid-off for the life of the Trikes, which is the first thing he failed to mention. I resent his claim of not knowing me and trying to make my name bad for his explanation that was very misleading and totally unfair.

CDA issued the Loan in 2012, but was not cooperative in helping to make the business a success once they issued the loan. From the start, CDA refused to give me a grace period to begin earning income before making payments like Banks do with Farmers who must harvest their crop before making payments. This fact alone forced me to actually use some of loan start-up money to make payments the very next month before the Trikes had even arrived nearly three months later. I dare say the Banks would have been far more symbiotic in our working relationship as it is a standard policy for many Banks to give grace periods before starting payments for many different reasons.

 The Trike Business was started at the wrong time as Garapan looked like a Ghost-town, so timing worked against us. Locals were the biggest renters but also the most destructive going off-roading when the Trikes were Touring Bikes, not Dirt Bikes.  To make it worse, I suffered a “heart-attack” in 2013, which the second thing the judge didn’t mention, that literally put the business on hold for two years and I was paying out of my pocket to try and save the business and his land, which the Judge failed to mention. When I restarted the business, I wanted to do a “Rent-to-Own” business due to continuing depreciation of the Trikes but CDA would not support the Program demanding I pay-off the loan before releasing any titles — the Second failure of CDA to help a loanee.

I went from one location to another trying to maintain a rental business in 2015. I also went to CDA to with the Rent-to-own again, and this time they agreed given the continuing depreciation value of the Trikes that had been rented. I was able to get several Rent-to-own programs started and completed along with the sale of one of the still new models.  But I was diagnosed with cancer later that year which ended my attempts to run the business literally — a third important factor the judge didn’t mention. I even went Judge Lizama to let him know I may not be able to keep making payments hoping that he would purchase or help me to sell the two New remaining Trikes and a few of the other Trikes that were in good condition, as these sales would have been enough to pay off the loan that was around 20k at the time.  The Judge would have gotten the title to his land back and would have literally owned the majority of the good inventory that was worth more than what was needed to pay off the loan. So the Judge didn’t want to even help himself out so why point a finger at me.

But after the Judge refused to help me nor himself to save the business and his land, I asked CDA to “declare the Loan delinquent” to stop the interest payments and to sell-off the trikes but they refused — the third time CDA failed to work with the loanee. CDA just let the loan sit for nearly three years before taking action to repo the Trikes which were no longer in the best of shape due to weatherization from sitting still for years. But CDA literally “gave-away” the Trikes in an auction even selling the two new Trikes that had less than 100 miles from test drives only. Most of the Trikes went for less than one hundred and the two new ones went for only a few hundred when they were worth at least 1,000 each. I had even asked CDA in a letter describing all the Trikes to set a limited bid amount but CDA refused and accepted any bid that was made. A fourth failure by CDA to help me be successful in paying off the loan.

Interest payments just ballooned for nearly five years virtually doubling the debt until CDA decided to finally sell the property. I believe CDA deliberately allowed the interest to blow-up which explains why CDA has a history of taking Property for CDA and failed businesses they really didn’t HELP to be successful.  The Judge is totally out-of-order to say I didn’t do anything to try and save his land because I literally gave it my all-&-all and I even ran my health into-the-ground trying to make OUR Business a success. It was just bad timing and I kept getting sick. I’m sorry the Judge lost his land but I lost over 50 thousand in cash and thousands of man-hours working and he didn’t lift a finger.  The Judge needs to accept the business deal just that didn’t pan-out, accept it your Honor because over 50% of all business attempts are not successful and in terms of longevity the percentage is even higher. Peace & Love my Brother.

The writer is a resident of Kagman, Saipan.

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