Savitt’s path from tennis professional to professional guardian didn’t require much heavy lifting. She completed 40 hours of training, put up a $50,000 bond for her firm Savitt Guardians and submitted to credit and criminal background checks.
The Department of Elder Affairs registered her as a professional guardian in 2011 despite a pending foreclosureon a home she owns in Delray Beach.
Savitt passed the credit check after telling the department that she was in a dispute with her lender and wasn’t past due because of “neglect or oversight.” It wasn’t until November 2014 that her dispute was settled with ajudgment of foreclosure, sending the house to the auction block.
Vassallo found the timing of the $308,000 payment suspicious. “I want to know if any of my father’s money went to her foreclosure case,” he said. When he told Judge French his concerns, a May 21 hearing was abruptly ended.
Despite the delinquencies, Savitt said she paid off the home equity loan on her property before the note was due. “I do not know how many professional guardians are debt free as I am,” she said.
Most of Savitt’s cases are in front of Judge French. Two of French’s ex-wives have described Colin and French as good friends who once planned a vacation together. The two judges have lunch together frequently in Delray Beach.
Families say they are also frustrated by the lack of transparency in the guardianship cases of their loved ones. It's not unusual for key documents regarding the guardian's activities to be sealed.
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Guardianships: A Broken Trust: Savitt's Home, $308,000 Staves Off Auction