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Saturday, November 13, 2010 - Page updated at 08:40 p.m.

How a hard-money lender took a man's home

Jefferson Marsh, a jobless mechanic, is one of several borrowers who took hard-money loans from Emiel Kandi and paid the price.

15719 118th Avenue Court E., Puyallup

Valued at $170,000
Owned by Marsh for 10 years with no mortgage


  • Marsh is behind on property taxes and owes $13,400.
  • Nov. 19: Kandi loans him $17,000 through 619 South Howard LLC, a company under his mother's name, Juanita Kandi.
  • Emiel Kandi meets Marsh at The Keg and has him sign a promissory note that shows a loan for $170,000 with 18.99 percent interest, compounded daily, to be paid back in 11 months.

    Kandi charges $7,000 in fees and interest. The true rate of the loan -- 45 percent -- was undisclosed.

  • Marsh signs a quitclaim deed that says if he misses a payment, Kandi can take the property immediately.

    This allows Kandi to bypass the foreclosure process, which takes months and offers consumer protections.

  • Kandi then hands Marsh $3,600 cash. He pays Marsh's property taxes of $13,400.


  • Marsh has made four cash payments to Kandi in person for a total of $4,400.
  • Mid-April: According to Marsh, he can't reach Kandi to make a payment. Kandi later denies avoiding him.
  • April 25: Kandi files the quitclaim deed and 619 South Howard LLC owns Marsh's home.
  • May 1: Kandi transfers the title to 15719 Puyallup LLC, another of his mother's companies.

    Kandi uses LLCs to avoid having property in his own name.

  • Courtesy of Martin Burns

    Later in July: Marsh is kicked out of the home and his belongings thrown outside.
  • May 1: Kandi transfers the title to 15719 Puyallup LLC, another of his mother's companies.


  • McLaurin defaults on her loan and files bankruptcy. The property is unoccupied.


  • Marsh lives in an old RV next to his former home.

Source: reporting by Christine Willmsen; Pierce County Superior Court documents