Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Couple Forced Into Year Delay In Wedding Plans After Financially Strapped Reception Venue Operator Pocketed $6,400 Check, Then Refused To Refund Cash After Losing Facility In Foreclosure Settlement

In Rio Rancho, New Mexico, the Albuquerque Journal reports:
  • After months of searching, Gladys Olives and Orlando Gonzales thought they’d found the perfect venue for their April wedding reception.

    Club Rio Rancho offered mountain views where they’d pose for wedding photos, ample space for their more than 300 guests and the price was within their budget. So in July, they wrote a check – $6,423 for the facility, staff, food and beverages.

    But in late December, the club closed, leaving Olives and Gonzales out thousands of dollars and scrambling to find a new reception venue. The two filed a lawsuit in 2nd Judicial District Court last week hoping to recover their money from the now defunct club and its owner, Jhett Browne. Browne could not be reached for comment and it is not clear who is representing him.

    “It’s not a good feeling, I’ll tell you that,” Gonzales said. “Especially when it’s a day as important as our wedding.”

    He and his fiancée have postponed their wedding by a year and are relieved that they held off on sending invitations and booking a DJ and photographer. “Now we have to start all over again,” he said.

    He hopes to save over the next few months as business at his landscaping company picks up with warmer weather.

    “I’m trying to sympathize with the owner, I’m a business owner myself,” Gonzales said. “But when I think about it, I think he had to probably have known. He knew he was possibly taking my money without honoring our deal.”

    So far, according to the lawsuit, Browne has “refused to refund” Gonzales, 32, and Olives, 33, who both live in Rio Rancho.

    According to a deed in lieu of foreclosure, Browne turned over the club and golf course to Southwest Capital Bank in late December, the Rio Rancho Observer reported.

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