After months of uncertainty, the situation with former Kansas City Mayor Charles B. Wheeler’s Loose Park area home was resolved Monday.
The home was sold on the steps of the Jackson County Courthouse because the Wheelers had failed to pay the property taxes and homeowners insurance premiums as required by their reverse mortgage. They owed more than $500,000 on the note.
James B. Nutter & Co., which issued the mortgage note and still controls it, bought the house on behalf of a Texas property management company for $399,000, which is the appraised value of the home. That was the only bid.
Jim Nutter Sr., founder of the mortgage company, is helping Wheeler and his wife Marjorie find a new residence. The Wheelers will have 30 days to leave the Loose Park area home, where they have lived since April 10, 1971, the day Wheeler was sworn in as mayor.
Wheeler, a Democrat, served two terms as mayor and later served a term in the Missouri Senate.
“Everybody’s been acting in a very honorable way in this situation,” Wheeler said Monday afternoon, sitting at “The Charles Wheeler Table” in his hangout, the Flea Market Bar & Grill on Westport Road. “The road is clear.”
Wheeler said he and a Nutter representative had identified a duplex in Waldo that the Wheelers would rent, occupying the first floor.
“I’m pleased with the way things are going,” Wheeler said.
Several months ago, when news of the situation surfaced, Wheeler was at odds with Nutter, who, for decades, has been a major contributor to Democratic candidates. Although he and Wheeler have not been close politically for many years, Wheeler got a reverse mortgage from Nutter several years ago.
The threat of eviction loomed for several weeks, but Nutter softened his position and brought in Pat O’Neill, a veteran public relations consultant who is friends with both men.
With O’Neill in the picture, the situation improved immediately, but it still took several weeks to iron out all the issues.
Referring to the upcoming move, O’Neill said after the auction, “It’ll be a whole lot better for him.”
Marjorie Wheeler had been in St. Luke’s Hospital for about 10 days, before moving on Monday to Bishop Spencer Place for a rehabilitation stint.
Wheeler said that he, Marjorie and their son Graham, who has lived with them for many years, would occupy the duplex.