Homeowners group takes foreclosure action against ex-rapper Vanilla Ice

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Vanilla Ice, a 1990s one-hit wonder who is using homes in Wellington's tony Versailles neighborhood as a backdrop for his nationally televised home improvement show, has been sued by the community for not paying assessments.

In a foreclosure lawsuit filed this week in Palm Beach County Circuit Court, the homeowners association claims Vanilla Ice, whose real name is Robert Van Winkle, owes it about $4,100. The association filed a lien against him in May when it claimed he owed $2,800. That same month, Van Winkle, transferred the deed to the 5,000-square-foot house on Trianon Place to Van-Rap Ltd., a Texas-based company, county property records show.

Van Winkle, who still performs when he's not renovating homes for The Vanilla Ice Project, his DIY Network show, said the homeowners association should be suing the company, not him.

"I'm not linked to that house in any way shape or form," said Van Winkle, who sang his way into the hearts of many prepubescent girls with the hit "Ice, Ice, Baby". "If you print that, you would be inaccurate."

Before denying any ties to the house, he said the assessments he is accused of not paying are to replace trees that were destroyed by Hurricane Wilma in 2005. He, along with other homeowners, are upset by how much the homeowner's association paid for the trees, he said.

"It's a little issue that will be resolved," he said. "I pay all my bills and financially I'm set."

He said he "has" several houses in Versailles. One, a 7,000-square-foot house, was featured in the TV show's first season and a 10,00-square-foot house will be featured in the season that begins Jan. 21. In addition to the house on Trianon, property records show Van-Rap Ltd. owns another house in suburban Lake Worth, and a condominium and a vacant lot in the western part of the county. No property is listed under Van Winkle's name.

Attorney Scott Wortman, who represents the homeowners association, wasn't immediately available for comment.


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