Owner of one of Colorado’s priciest homes files for bankruptcy

The home at 1011 Ute Avenue in Aspen, Colorado (credit: Joshua & Company)

The owner of a lavish estate in one of the most expensive ZIP codes in the country has just filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, records show.

Owned and developed by Leathem Stearn, the 21,000-square-foot property at 1011 Ute Avenue in Aspen, Colorado, was listed in 2013 for $45 million, though it never sold.

Although it is not clear from the filing what creditor, in particular, is forcing the bankruptcy filing, it is most likely the mortgage lender. Stearn filed for bankruptcy through the entity Ute Mesa Lot 2.

“Normally, when a mortgage lender is about to foreclose, bankruptcy can stop the foreclosure process. I’m imagining that’s why they filed this,” said Adam Stein-Sapir, a bankruptcy specialist at Pioneer Funding Group who was not involved in this case.

That lender appears to be Paul J.A. van Hessen, a private lender from the Netherlands who provided an estimated $10 million loan, documents show.

The lawyers for the developer and lender could not be reached for comment.

The home was built in 2011, and its listing price dropped from $45 million to $39 million over the years, though it no longer appears to be on the market. Rihanna reportedly rented it in 2014. It comes with a 54-foot pool, hot tub and a ski-in, ski-out option.