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A Clinton police squad car patrols the Miller Ridge Apartment complex in Clinton on Thursday.

Katie Dahlstrom/Clinton Herald
Herald Staff Writer

The Wisconsin bank that had sought foreclosure on the Miller Ridge Apartments is no longer involved in the rent collection process according to a notice delivered to tenants Thursday.

“This notice is to inform you that as of today, August 23, 2012, the owner Joe Miller has taken back all rent collections for Miller Ridge Apartments,” the notice states.

Residents of the complex at 2604 N. Fourth St. in Clinton were instructed to make all payments payable to Miller. Tenants should either pay at the office with the manager or mail payments to a P.O. Box in Milwaukee, according to the notice.

Prior to receiving the notice, renters made their checks payable to “Miller Ridge” according to a tenant.

They were also instructed by the notice to make a payment or arrange a payment plan for August’s or other past month’s rent with the office manager at the complex by Friday.

A representative of Miller Ridge Apartments’ corporate office confirmed the notice was generated by the corporate office, but could not comment further and the apparent removal of Layton State Bank from the rent collection.

Court documents filed Aug. 10 show the bank was seeking to foreclose on Miller Ridge LLC claiming the complex owes more than $3.5 million in mortgage payments, $382,357 in unpaid city sewer bills and housing inspection fees, $453,903 in property taxes and continues to violate numerous local fire and building codes. A representative of Layton State Bank would not comment on the bank’s current role or the state of the case.   

The bank wanted a receiver appointed to protect, preserve and operate Miller Ridge Apartments because the property, the bank alleged, is not being properly managed. The bank claimed there have been and continues to be a number of fire code and housing code violations that may present a substantial risk to person and property and because rents have not been applied to pay what it owes the city, according to court documents obtained by the Clinton Herald on Aug. 15.

The motion for appointment of receiver also alleged Miller Ridge LLC had not used all of its funds for purposes related to its indebtedness or operations at Miller Ridge Apartments, but instead has used the funds for unrelated indebtedness or legal entities having common ownership with Joseph Miller.

The city of Clinton, which was named in the suit as a defendant because it may claim an interest in the property by reason of liens for unpaid housing inspection charges, sewer and water bill charges and assessments, on Aug. 16, filed a response to the bank’s motion for appointment of a receivership requesting the court approve the bank’s motion. In the response, the city requested affirmative relief requesting the rents, profits, avails and income derived from the real estate be applied first to the cost of the receivership and second to the payment of taxes due or becoming due during the receivership.   

The city claimed per Iowa code, that liens from the city utility have equal precedence with ordinary taxes and the taxes assessed and levied for the benefit of the city shall have priority of payment after the costs of the receivership.  

Residents received the notice to send payments to Miller the day before the scheduled hearing concerning the motion to appoint a receiver to oversee the money collected at the complex.

The hearing, which was scheduled for 1:15 p.m. Friday, was canceled. No new court documents were available.


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