GREENSBORO — The Julian Price House attracted no upset bids after its recent auction, meaning that Bank of America soon will assume ownership of the historic Greensboro structure that’s been embroiled in a lengthy foreclosure case.
The bank holds a disputed mortgage note on the Fisher Park property that has been owned for 40 years by prominent interior designer Sandra Cowart.
The case led to a foreclosure sale Jan. 11 at the Guilford County Courthouse in which the bank was the lone bidder, setting the bar at $731,250.
A 10-day period during which that opening bid could be overturned by a higher offer ended late last week with no takers.
Bank of America spokesman Rick Simon said Monday that there’s “not much to say at this point.”
“Once title has transferred, we will review the situation and determine a course of action,” Simon said in an email. “Ultimately, the property likely will be assigned to a local agent for marketing.”
The house was built in the Tudor Revival style during the late 1920s for Julian Price, president of Jefferson Standard Life Insurance Co., during that local company’s heyday.
The brick and half-timbered mansion also is known as “Hillside” and was designed by famed architect Charles Hartmann, a New Yorker best known for imposing business structures such as the Jefferson Standard Building in Greensboro’s downtown.
Designed to resemble a mountain retreat, the house at 301 Fisher Park Circle is on the National Register of Historic Places, Guilford County’s list of historically significant properties, and a similar list of noteworthy buildings at the state level.
Cowart and Bank of America have been locked for several years in a legal tussle over the house, where she has continued to live.
Cowart, who is not a lawyer, acted as her own attorney in an unsuccessful legal odyssey that went from the county level to the N.C. Court of Appeals, the state Supreme Court and U.S. Middle District Court.
Bank of America argued successfully that it acquired her mortgage legally in purchasing the financial company that made the original, $1.9 million loan in 2005. Cowart countered that Bank of America’s claim was fraudulent because the loan actually had been transferred to another lender.
In an email Monday, Cowart said she tried to contact the bank’s lawyer for an update, but has been unable to find out what’s next for the 31-room house that she owned since 1975.
“Not a thing,” she said of the bank’s response. “I called and sent emails. No response.”
Meanwhile, she has been working with Greensboro auctioneer Willie Johnson to help her downsize as ownership passes to the bank.
Johnson said Monday that they hope to move many of her furnishings in the 7,266-square-foot mansion to a warehouse with an eye toward holding an auction at some point.