Candidate sued over loan made in 1995 |

Candidate sued over loan made in 1995

A civil complaint filed against Drew Bedwell, a candidate for Nevada County supervisor, alleges he made a loan with interest rates that violated state constitutional limits.

“Our contention is the rate in the note exceeded the maximum under law, and interest was paid at that rate,” said John Montague, a Sacramento attorney who filed the complaint.

The complaint for recovery of usurious interest was filed Monday in Nevada County Superior Court on behalf of plaintiff Tony Vriethoff, a Rough and Ready man who borrowed $70,000 from Bedwell in 1995 to refinance Vriethoff’s house on Castaway Court, court records show.

The suit names as defendants Bedwell; his wife, Ruth Bedwell; and Vriethoff’s ex-wife, who was a party to the note but was otherwise not mentioned in the suit. She could not be reached for comment.

The claim alleges the 11.5 percent annual rate charged on the loan was in violation of the California Constitution and asks for $32,200 in damages against the Bedwells.

Montague said state law mandates what rate can be charged between private parties.

The constitution prescribes that a loan for personal, family or household purposes not exceed 10 percent interest, according to the claim.

Drew Bedwell called the complaint “political.”

He said he didn’t know about the constitutional limit when he made the loan and that Vriethoff had suggested the 11.5 percent interest rate.

Bedwell said he tried to foreclose on the note after he found out Vriethoff had not been paying property taxes. Vriethoff paid off the loan last week, said Bedwell.

County and court records show the $275,000 property had $16,412 in delinquent property taxes, accumulated over several years. Bedwell filed for default on Aug. 5, demanding that Vriethoff pay off the $17,394 loan balance.

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