After 2 homes abandoned, credit union sues Cushingberry - KMSP-TV

After 2 homes abandoned, credit union sues Cushingberry for $174,000

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Both of Cushingberry's homes Both of Cushingberry's homes
DETROIT (WJBK) -

George Cushingberry Jr. had two beautiful homes in beautiful neighborhoods, but by the time he was done with them they had become the kind of places that might make you register a complaint with your city councilman.

FOX 2's M.L. Elrick takes a tour inside both homes of Detroit City Council Pro Tem.

VIDEO: Click on the video player above to see the conditions of the houses

Cushingberry's former home on Cherrylawn is a fixer-upper for sure, but first, it needs a little tidying up.

Cushingberry didn't take everything but the kitchen sink. In fact, it looks like he left everything but the kitchen sink - inside and outside. Loose change is lying on the floor, piles of random garbage - even a woman's wig.

By the time we got our tour of Marygrove, it was in pretty bad shape. Handyman Richard Harmon says he met the Cushingberry's here, and saw George take off with fixtures and chandeliers saying they belonged to him.

Harmon says scrappers then tore out sinks and other fixtures in their search for copper. The house still retains some of the elements of elegance that once made it magnificent, though, and some personal touches - such as the wet bar inside the law office.

Cushingberry's financial woes aren't just a problem for his neighbors. They're a problem for the police, fire fighters, sanitation workers and other public employees who belong to the Public Service Credit Union that loaned him the money to buy those houses.

Unlike the Wall Street banks who turn to Washington for a bailout, when a credit union has a bad deal it can't loan as much money and its members suffer.

Now the credit union is suing Cushingberry and his wife.

The lawsuit says the credit union lost more than $72,000 on the Marygrove house and more than $20,000 on the Cherrylawn house. The credit union claims the Cushingberrys were responsible for damages to the homes and the removal of cabinets and other fixtures totaling more than $56,000 at Marygrove and more than $25,000 at Cherrylawn.

Altogether, the credit union figures doing business with the Cushingberrys cost more than $174,000.

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