High-profile real estate agent files for bankruptcy

When John McMonigle posted a question on his Facebook page about how people would be spending the weekend in Orange County, he mostly got responses like going to the beach or attending children's sporting events.

But someone posted this reply, which was still posted on Monday morning but had been deleted by the afternoon: "Filing for bankruptcy. How about you?"

McMonigle, 46, a Newport Beach real estate agent behind the sale of some of the county's most expensive properties, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy Friday to relieve debt from a few more than 200 creditors, according to online federal court records.

On May 26, McMonigle and his lawyer, Michael N. Nicastro of Costa Mesa, will attend a 341 meeting, the next step in a federal bankruptcy to go over assets, court documents show.

The Orange County Register first reported the news of McMonigle's Chapter 7 filing.

Taxes on McMonigle's $1.8-million home in Newport Beach have also allegedly been delinquent — about $21,000 should have been paid by Monday, April 11, according to information posted on the Orange County Treasurer Tax Collector's website.

Neither McMonigle nor his company, McMonigle Group Inc., returned calls or messages Monday seeking comment.

But Twitter was alive on Monday with real estate agents and their companies posting and reposting articles on McMonigle, who is known for selling luxury homes in Orange County and abroad.

The voluntary petition McMonigle filed Friday listed his assets as between just over $1 million and $10 million, according to court papers. His liabilities ranged from just over $50 million to $100 million.

The Orange County Business Journal reported that McMonigle Group Inc. will continue to operate normally, according to an official statement.

McMonigle was recently developing Villa del Lago, an 18,258-square-foot mansion with a wine cave, tennis pavilion and stables, priced at $37 million. He was also in the news for putting up the Portabello Estate in Corona del Mar for $75 million. However, that property reportedly sold for $34.1 million.

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