31,000 Cattle Involved in South Dakota Foreclosure

A court-appointed investigator is counting cattle and identifying owners in a multi-million dollar South Dakota foreclosure case. ( Free Images )

A multi-million dollar foreclosure case is unfolding in South Dakota and a court-appointed investigator is working to ensure the care and determine the ownership of as many as 31,000 cattle.

The foreclosure was filed by First Dakota National Bank against Robert and Becky Blom, Corsica, SD, on Feb. 8. The complaint alleges the Bloms had overdrawn their account by more than $1 million, and that due to Robert Blom’s recent vehicle accident and subsequent incapacitation, the bank considered itself insecure.

According to the Dickinson Press, nine law firms filed notices of appearances in the case representing 17 additional parties during a hearing Feb. 14 in the Douglas County court in Armour, SD. It remains unknown just how many parties will be involved or how much money is owed. As of Feb. 7, the complaint stated that the Bloms owed a principal amount of $6,748,600.92 in notes and an additional $792.75 per day in accrued interest on those notes.

Following Robert Blom’s vehicle accident Feb. 5, he was arrested and charged with a first-offense DUI. The Dickinson Press also reports an affidavit filed by First Dakota National Bank indicated a loan officer had been “advised by Robert Blom that he has prepared false documentation to customers for approximately three to four years” and that all of the Blom’s assets will have to be liquidated to satisfy the bank and other creditors’ claims.

Lew Dirks, the court-appointed receiver, an investigator from Sioux Falls, testified at the Feb. 14 hearing he estimates that the Blom case involves 31,450 head of cattle. In three feedlots he said he’s found 4,953 head in total and has heard rumors of an additional 2,400 being moved before he got involved with the case.

“I think the receiver needs to act as expeditiously as possible,” Judge Bruce Anderson said at the hearing. “The cattle — they can’t stay out there forever. Some of them are ripe for market. They’ve got to go.”