News 4 Investigates: Dream yacht becomes nightmare for St. Charles couple

 

(KMOV.com) - Meet Andy and Maureen. The St. Charles County couple has a shipwreck on their hands.

“It's just crazy, really crazy,” said Maureen Amen-Gay.

The mess at their dock behind their home on the Mississippi River is all that's left of Andy’s dream. Andy bought the 1968 50 foot Hatteras motor yacht in 2000.

“I was keeping the boat and trying to make the payments and I was using up all my savings,” Andy said.

In 2014, on advice from his lawyer, filed for bankruptcy, prepared to give the boat back to the bank.

In September 2014, he received this letter stating that the loan holder, Aliant Credit Union, took possession of the boat and intended to sell it.

“You believed they owned it and it was their responsibility?” Investigative Reporter Lauren Trager asked. “Yes and I had all my personal possessions off the boat,” Andy said.

Thinking it wasn't his anymore, he stayed away from it. Months went by and no one came to claim it then, well, you guessed it, it started to sink.

As the Mississippi rose and fell, the boat became badly damaged, now shellacked in mud and probably beyond repair.

To get it out of the water could cost tens of thousands.

"I don't have that kind of money and I didn't cause the thing to sink,” Andy said.

Andy says he alerted Aliant which repeatedly said it would be taken care of.

Then fast forward to August, 2015 and another letter arrived, now saying Aliant no longer had security interest in the property.

“Do you think at this point, they are washing their hands of it?” asked Investigative Reporter Lauren Trager. “That's what it appears to me,” said Andy.

So Maureen called KMOV Investigates, News 4 then called Alliant Credit Union.

A representation from Alliant confirmed at one point they intended to take the boat, but never did and now it’s released its stake.

News 4 wanted to know what, if anything, Aliant intended to do to help Maureen and Andy.

For now, the boat remains.

“It's heartbreaking because I know he's suffering and I am, and it's like oh my god, this shouldn't have happened, this should have been gone a long time ago,” said Maureen.

Alliant later sent a statement:

“Thank you for giving us an opportunity to comment, however, it is not our practice to speak publically about members and their financial situations. We do encourage the member, or any member with a challenge, to contact us directly. We encourage Mr. Gay or his attorney to call us to discuss any issue or concern he has. Though we could share information that would be available publically, we are not in a position to make the determination what is, in fact, public information. We can confirm that we do not have any current ownership interest including any liens on a boat that fits the description provided.”

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News 4 Investigates