Homestead Northwest files for bankruptcy

Published on Wed, Jan 25, 2012 by Jeremy Schwartz

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After encountering deep financial trouble over the past few years, Lynden-based real estate developer Homestead Northwest has declared bankruptcy.

Representatives from the company filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on January 18, in the Western Washington Bankruptcy Court in Seattle. Documents indicate Homestead Northwest and its president, Jim Wynstra, have assets estimated between $1 million and $10 million.

While further details were not available at press time, court documents also indicate most of the 100 or more individuals and companies who invested with Homestead Northwest will not get their money back after bankruptcy proceedings have finished.
Court documents show Homestead Northwest owes between $10 million and $50 million in unpaid liabilities to its investors.
Most of Homestead Northwest’s investors are listed as living in Lynden, but six have Blaine addresses.

As of press time, representatives from Homestead had yet to file those documents that would detail the assets in the company’s and Wynstra’s possession, including real estate and personal property. Representatives from the company must file this necessary information by February 1.

In March of last year, investigators with the securities division of the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions alleged Wynstra sold 1,341 unregistered real estate investments in the Lynden area from 1989 to 2009, totaling approximately $121 million. In April 2009, according to investigators in the case, Homestead Northwest ceased paying back most investors, leaving about 350 clients with an estimated $65 million in outstanding investments in the Homestead companies.

Homestead Northwest once owned a number of properties in Birch Bay, including CJ’s Beach House and the Birch Bay Waterslides. CJ’s Beach House closed in September after the property was put into receivership, and the Birch Bay Waterslides was sold in September to developers from British Columbia.