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Published: Tuesday, 5/7/2002

Physician sued for $450,000 mortgage

SANDUSKY - Four months ago, Toledo-area physician Jay Nielsen sued his ex-wife, MCO classmate Jerri Nielsen, alleging that she defamed him in a book about her 1999 rescue from the South Pole.

Now, Dr. Nielsen is the subject of a legal complaint.

A Bluffton bank has sued Jay Nielsen in Erie County Common Pleas Court, alleging that he owes more than $450,000 in principal, interest, and penalties on a Sandusky apartment complex he bought two years ago. According to the foreclosure complaint filed against Dr. Nielsen, he took out a mortgage of $379,952.74 from Citizens National Bank of Bluffton in February, 2000. David Delong, an attorney for the bank, said Dr. Nielsen owed Citizens National $453,853.37 in principal, interest, and penalties as of March 12, 2002.

Interest on the mortgage is accruing at an annual rate of 6.75 percent, according to the suit.

Jay Nielsen could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Mr. Delong declined to say how long Dr. Nielsen has been delinquent on the mortgage for the property, which includes a house and a six-unit apartment building in the 1000 block of West Washington Street. "Let me just say he has been delinquent for more than one month," Mr. Delong said. "That's obvious by the amount that's due on the loan."

Dr. Nielsen's tenants, meanwhile, lost heat and electric service to their apartments last week when the utilities were shut off for nonpayment.

Gina Thompson, a spokesman for Columbia Gas in Toledo, said the company cut off service to the complex April 30. It remained off yesterday, she added.

According to Ms. Thompson, the gas service to the complex was through a single "master meter" in Dr. Nielsen's name. Tenants apparently paid for service as part of their monthly rent.

Ms. Thompson would not say how long the account has been delinquent or how much is owed.

She said the tenants, if they wanted to resume service, could pool their resources and pay the latest monthly bill plus future bills until the situation is resolved. Or the renters could arrange with a court to put their rent payments in escrow until the dispute is settled, Ms. Thompson said.

"Even though we're providing the service, we're a third party in these types of situations," she said. "It's a tough situation for everyone involved, and we try to help them get the situation resolved. But it's really something the tenants have to work out with the landlord."

Jim Proctor, a spokesman for Ohio Edison, said he had no information yesterday on the electric service to the property. Tenants of the complex could not be reached for comment.

Jay Nielsen, a Maumee physician who lives in Perrysburg, filed suit against his ex-wife in December in Wood County Common Pleas Court.

The suit, which has since been transferred to U.S. District Court in Toledo, says Jerri Nielsen falsely claimed in her book that he emotionally abused her and physically abused their children.

Jerri Nielsen, a 1977 graduate of the Medical College of Ohio, made headlines nationwide in 1999 when she treated herself for breast cancer at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Research Center, then was airlifted to safety in a daring rescue. After her return, Jerri Nielsen wrote Ice Bound: A Doctor's Incredible Battle for Survival at the South Pole.



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