2807 Steiner Street

Having been bounced from the dilapidated Bourn Mansion, which was slated to be foreclosed upon and subsequently sold in a bankruptcy sale back in 2009, the infamous Arden Van Upp retreated to the two-unit building she owns at 2807-2809 Steiner Street, a building which is now headed for a sale on the courthouse steps as well.

The Steiner Street building, which Ms. Van Upp purchased for $145,000 in 1971, has a long history of various liens going back to at least 1990, survived a foreclosure scare in 2000, and was briefly scheduled for a forced sale to satisfy an unpaid property tax bill in 2002. But so far, Ms. Van Upp has remained in control of the 5,642 square foot Pacific Heights pad which was used to secure a $5.5 million mortgage from the Northern California Mortgage Fund IX LLC last year.

With over $113,000 in past due payments and penalties having since accrued, a notice of default was issued in March. And the 2807-2809 Steiner Street building is currently scheduled to be foreclosed upon on July 5, 2016, along with the Van Upp owned building at 1019 Ashbury Street which served as collateral for the aforementioned loan as well.

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by Fishchum

    From everything I’ve read about her, I really don’t have any pity for the woman.

  2. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    All I can guess is that Van Upp is a person who lives far beyond her means though still feels entitled to her lifestyle. So entitled that she can justify fraud and allow her assets to collapse around her. The irony is that she could have easily parlayed her 1970s era investments into a smooth running, high yielding real estate empire.

  3. Posted by Notcom

    Arden Van Upp? Wasn’t that a character on Batman…or maybe Little Orphan Annie?

  4. Posted by Patrick

    I did a Google search and found this article in SF Weekly from 1998. Apparently things have only gotten worse in the 18 years since it was written. This quote from the article sums up Van Upp:

    “She’s your classic, basic slumlord,” says the maintenance man, who begs anonymity. “She likes to think of herself as not normal. It gives her license to be eccentric, to be inconsiderate, uncaring, and complain about how the world is treating her. She thinks she’s eccentric, but it’s not eccentric. They have some nobility, some flair of some kind. She’s at the other end, the butt end.”

    [Editor’s Note: Following our link for the “infamous Arden Van Upp” above would have led you to the same article and additional accounts.]

  5. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    Oddly 1019 Ashbury Street is one of the few properties in the neighborhood that Zillow does not track. Hard to believe that it is actually worth $5M.

    Redfin says that 1019 Ashbury last sold over a century ago. No record of any sale last year.

    Something seems fishy here.

    • Posted by SocketSite

      The $5.5 million mortgage was written with the Steiner and Ashbury Street properties as joint collateral, it wasn’t a purchase loan for 1019 Ashbury.

      • Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

        Oh, yeah. I misread that last paragraph. I wonder what the loan was for then. Also am wondering how Van Upp got title to 1019 Ashbury without a sale being recorded. 1019 Ashbury Street is assessed at $149K which implies it has the minimum valuation that prop 13 enables.

  6. Posted by redseca2

    Looking for an apartment in 1979 when I first arrived in SF, I followed an add in the Chronicle (those were the days) to 1019 Ashbury. The person I met there so long ago must have been Ms. Van Upp because after looking at the 1019 Ashbury unit, and chatting about architecture, she mentioned she also had vacancies in what turned out to the Bourn Mansion. She showed me a beautiful top floor room with a fireplace and a balcony, which I really, really wanted to move into. But there was something off putting about the entire setup, so I passed.

    I either dodged a major bullet or missed out on a unique experience, but frankly I don’t give a damn.

    • Posted by Skeeter

      You dodged a major bullet. Her m.o. was to con people into moving in, make life hell so they would move out, and then keep the security deposit. Pre-internet, it was much harder for anyone to realize she had a practice of doing this. It got to the point where she would not leave her house in order to avoid process servers.

      SocketSite: Any idea how old she is now?

      • Posted by Patrick

        According to Ancestry dot com, she was born in 1938, which would make her 78.

  7. Posted by Neighborhood Activist

    The linked article said she was in her mid-30s in 1973. That would make her late 70s now.

  8. Posted by oned

    This is the sort of San Francisco “character” who will not be missed.

  9. Posted by Joe

    I had an encounter with Arden in her Ashbury property in 2006 or so. She was showing an apartment to me. There was a line out the door to view it because 1) her price was significantly below market for the area and 2) she would only take in one perspective tenant at a time. She insisted on an immediate deposit, which I balked at. Good thing too — as I left a neighbor of hers warned me and the entire cue that Van Upp notoriously took deposits and then just disappeared. Glad her game is up; she a real predator.

  10. Posted by H. Alger

    The life of a renter is sad and hopeless. Work hard, save your money, and become an owner.

  11. Posted by inclinejj

    2807 Steiner St Transaction History

    History Record # 1 : FORECLOSURE
    Recording Date: 03/07/2016
    Recorded Doc #: 00000K211932
    Document Type: Notice of Default Vesting Type: N/A

    History Record # 2 : FINANCE
    Mortgage Recording Date: 08/28/2015 Mortgage Transfer Type: Stand Alone Finance
    Mortgage Document #: 00000K125831 Mortgage Rate Type:
    Lender: Northern Ca Mtg Fund Ix Llc Northern Ca Mtg Fund Ix Llc Mortgage Term:
    Document Type: Trust Deed/Mortgage Vesting Type: N/A
    Loan Amount: $5,500,000 Mortgage Rate:
    Borrower 1: Van Upp Arden Borrower 2:
    Borrower 3: Borrower 4:

    History Record # 3 : FINANCE
    Mortgage Recording Date: 04/03/2013 Mortgage Transfer Type: Stand Alone Finance
    Mortgage Document #: 00000J630533 Mortgage Rate Type:
    Lender: Leibof Rhona Mortgage Term:
    Document Type: Trust Deed/Mortgage Vesting Type: N/A
    Loan Amount: $325,000 Mortgage Rate:
    Borrower 1: Van Upp Arden D Borrower 2:
    Borrower 3: Borrower 4:

    History Record # 4 : FINANCE
    Mortgage Recording Date: 12/13/2011 Mortgage Transfer Type: Refinance
    Mortgage Document #: J314509 Mortgage Rate Type: Fix
    Lender: Czimarik Grace 1998 Trust (Pt) Mortgage Term:
    Document Type: Trust Deed/Mortgage Vesting Type: N/A
    Loan Amount: $2,000,000 Mortgage Rate:
    Borrower 1: Vanupp Arden D Borrower 2:
    Borrower 3: Borrower 4:

    History Record # 5 : FINANCE
    Mortgage Recording Date: 01/22/2010 Mortgage Transfer Type: Refinance
    Mortgage Document #: I911623 Mortgage Rate Type: Fix
    Lender: Gradman Theodore J Mortgage Term:
    Document Type: Trust Deed/Mortgage Vesting Type: N/A
    Loan Amount: $1,600,000 Mortgage Rate:
    Borrower 1: Vanupp Arden D Borrower 2:
    Borrower 3: Borrower 4:

    History Record # 6 : FORECLOSURE
    Recording Date: 08/14/2009
    Recorded Doc #: 2009 816446
    Document Type: Notice of Default Vesting Type: N/A

    History Record # 7 : FORECLOSURE
    Recording Date: 06/24/2009
    Recorded Doc #: 2009 784341
    Document Type: Release of Lis Pendens/Notice Vesting Type: N/A

    History Record # 8 : FORECLOSURE
    Recording Date: 03/13/2009
    Recorded Doc #: 2009 732733
    Document Type: Notice of Default Vesting Type: N/A

    History Record # 9 : FINANCE
    Mortgage Recording Date: 04/29/2004 Mortgage Transfer Type: Refinance
    Mortgage Document #: H709456 Mortgage Rate Type: Fix
    Lender: Pocoroba Margaret Mortgage Term:
    Document Type: Trust Deed/Mortgage Vesting Type: N/A
    Loan Amount: $300,000 Mortgage Rate:
    Borrower 1: Van Upp Arden D Borrower 2:
    Borrower 3: Borrower 4:

    History Record # 10 : FORECLOSURE
    Recording Date: 01/25/2001
    Recorded Doc #: 2001 895099
    Document Type: Release of Lis Pendens/Notice Vesting Type: N/A

    History Record # 11 : FORECLOSURE
    Recording Date: 10/12/2000
    Recorded Doc #: 2000 848657
    Document Type: Notice of Sale Vesting Type: N/A

    History Record # 12 : FORECLOSURE
    Recording Date: 06/21/2000
    Recorded Doc #: 2000 790450
    Document Type: Notice of Default Vesting Type: N/A

    History Record # 13 : FINANCE
    Mortgage Recording Date: 04/30/1997 Mortgage Transfer Type: Refinance
    Mortgage Document #: 0G15500132 Mortgage Rate Type: Fix
    Lender: Kaplan Trust Mortgage Term:
    Document Type: Trust Deed/Mortgage Vesting Type: N/A
    Loan Amount: $562,500 Mortgage Rate:
    Borrower 1: Van Up Arden Borrower 2:
    Borrower 3: Borrower 4:

  12. Posted by inclinejj

    Arden Van Upp and Sam

    Arden Van Upp and Sam got to know each other at an SFL Party at the University of California at Berkeley in 1966. They married in October 1967. Not long thereafter, Sam got in trouble because of his parties and student club at the University of California at Berkeley and moved to New York. He got a job working on Wall Street and eventually became a registered broker-dealer as Samuel H. Sloan & Co.

    Meanwhile, they forgot about their marriage and married other people.

    Sam did not return to California until 1991, 24 years later. By then, Arden had become a wealthy real estate mavin. She owned rental properties plus the 28-room Bourn Mansion, one of the most famous private residences in San Francisco, located at 2550 Webster Street at the peak of the Pacific Heights section of San Francisco. Arden and Sam got back together where they had left off and Sam moved into the Bourn Mansion.

    Arden had bought the Bourn Mansion in 1973. It is a 28-room historic mansion on the national registry. However, soon thereafter she had met a young doctor named Lawrence Badgley at a party. He wanted in on the deal. He paid Arden $25,000 and became half owner on the deed. He moved in.

    Not long thereafter, the police raided the place and caught Dr. Badgley just as he was leaving. He claimed that Arden had called the police because he was smoking marijuana. However, this was not true as Arden would never call the police. We later learned that another tenant named Judy Lamb had actually called the police on Dr. Badgley after he had propositioned her while he was naked.

    Dr. Badgley sued Arden in 1974. The case went on for 25 years until 1999. It was the longest running active case in the history of San Francisco. In 1991 a corrupt judge awarded Dr. Badgley $500,000 damages without ever hearing the testimony, even though Badgley had paid nothing for the maintenance and upkeep on the house after his initial $25,000 down payment.

    Arden appealed. To stop Dr. Badgley from foreclosing, she filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. She hired a big law firm to represent her. After several more years of litigation, the law firm got the $500,000 judgment overturned on appeal, but she had to pay a legal bill of $750,000. She would have been better off just paying the $500,000 judgment.

    Even after the judgment was vacated, Dr. Badgley still owned half the house. To end all this, Arden Van Upp borrowed three million dollars in a hard-money loan. Up until this time, she had been virtually debt free. To secure this loan, she put up her three properties. 1019 Ashbury, 2807 Steiner Street and 2550 Webster Street. This paid off everybody and Judge Montali let Arden out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

    After making this hard-money loan, the lender (actually a group of lenders) kept raising the interest rate and threatening to foreclose. Arden often had to sign papers agreeing to an increase in the loan to keep her properties. The rate of interest was usurious, over 10%. As an elderly woman, Arden is now 77, she could not read or understand the documents so she just signed them without reading them.

    At the end of 2008, there was the famous financial collapse where many banks and brokerage firms such as Lehman Brothers went under. Because of this, Arden could not roll over her loans and could not refinance. She kept falling further behind in her payments. Finally, in July 2009 her creditors scheduled a foreclosure auction on the steps of San Francisco City Hall. In order to stop the foreclosure sale, she had no choice but to file a Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization. Case No. 09-31932 TEC

    Unlike the previous judge who had allowed Arden to reorganize, borrow new money, pay off everybody and come out of bankruptcy, this judge would not let her out. Only three weeks after Arden had filed for Chapter 11, Arden came up with money from a new lender with enough to pay everybody off. It should not have been a surprise that Arden would raise the money so quickly. The three buildings combined had an appraised value of over $12.5 million and she only needed $3 million to pay off the existing loans. However, the judge, Judge Carlson, would not allow it. Instead he appointed a trustee, a homosexual by the name of David Bradlow.

    Trustees make their money by selling properties and collecting a commission. If they do not sell anything they do not get any money. Therefore Bradlow would not allow Arden Van Upp to refinance even though she had the money in hand. At this point, Arden and Sam Sloan were still living together in the Bourn Mansion at 2550 Webster Street. Bradlow appointed a real estate agent named Osama bin Freij to handle the sales of the three buildings. When Osama bin Freij came to the Bourn Mansion to take possession of the property, Arden and Sam were not at home but a schizophrenic homeless man named Jeffrey Porteze happened to be in front of the building. Jeffrey Porteze had been in and out of mental hospitals for years. He would go around looking for houses that seemed to be empty, often because the owners were away on vacation, break in and settle down there until the real owners came back. In a recent case when the owners of a home in Marin got home from vacation, they had found Jeffrey Porteze sitting in the living room, his feet on a table, casually watching TV. He seemed not at all concerned when the real owners arrived. He said hello to them and he continued to watch the TV as though nothing had happened. Naturally the police were called and when they arrived they quickly determined that Jeffrey Porteze was insane and thus could not be charged with any crime. They let him go and Jeffrey Porteze therefore went about looking for other homes to break into.

    Jeffrey Porteze had a history of breaking into the Bourn Mansion and Arden Van Upp had called the police and had him arrested there several times. Because of the way that the Bourn Mansion is constructed, it is almost impossible to stop break-ins. There are cubby holes in the bricks along the sides. A person athletic enough and brave enough can climb up the walls or go around the landing and get in through the roof or the windows. So, it happened when Osama bin Freij came to secure the building, Jeffrey Porteze had just walked by. He followed Osama bin Freij in the front door. Osama bin Freij changed the locks on the doors and, assuming that Jeffrey Porteze was a legal tenant, gave him the new key to the Bourn Mansion. As a result, only Jeffrey Porteze had the key and nether of the real owners had the key to the building.

    Jeffrey Porteze continued to live there for several months. He climbed on the roof and made roof repairs. When David Bradlow had tarps placed on the roof (unnecessary because Arden Van Upp had spent several hundred thousand dollars repairing the roof) Jeffrey Porteze tore off the tarps. They were not replaced.

    Without the usual public notices, Judge Carlson abruptly held a courtroom auction of the property on Webster Street. Normally such auctions are held on the steps of San Francisco City Hall. The only bidders at the courtroom auction were those who happened to be in the courtroom on that day who were there for cases that happened to be on the calender for that day. The winning bidder was somebody who just happened to be there for another case and had no prior familiarity with the property. The winning bid was $2.79 million for a property appraised at over $8 million. A few days later the winning bidder informed the court that he did not have the money to pay. Instead of holding a new auction, Judge Carlson just awarded the property to another entity for the same price.

    However, neither Arden Van Upp nor her creditors nor her estate received any of the $2.79 million. All of the proceeds went to David Bradlow and his attorneys, the law firm of Wendel, Rosen, Black and Dean. They claimed high legal expenses of more than two million dollars for several reasons, such as the need to evict Jeffrey Porteze, even though it was their agent Osama bin Freij who had let Jeffrey in the building and given him the key and even though Arden Van Upp had called the police on Jeffrey Porteze and had him arrested several times. They also called Sam Sloan a “vexatious litigant” because by changing the locks on the doors they had effectively evicted him. They filed an “adversary proceeding” against him. They charged the Arden Van Upp bankruptcy estate a legal fee of several hundred thousand dollars to file this adversary proceeding against Sloan and got a default judgment against him even though Sloan had never been served nor had he appeared or responded. As Sloan had made derogatory remarks about David Bradlow and posted them on the Internet, they charged the Van Upp Estate several hundred thousand dollars so as to get those derogatory remarks removed from the Internet. They got Google to remove a blog on which derogatory statements had been posted. Under court order from Judge Carlson, Google removed the blog. There were also remarks made by unknown persons on the Internet that David Bradlow was a “flaming faggot”. They also got Google to remove those remarks and charged Van Upp more hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees for their removal.

    All this time, Arden Van Upp had raised the $3 million to pay off the creditors. So she paid everybody. With everybody paid and no debts owing, she moved to dismiss the bankruptcy proceeding. However, Bradlow and his attorneys cross moved to convert to a Chapter 7 proceeding so that they could get her two remaining buildings, 1019 Ashbury and 2807 Steiner, and steal that money too.

    Another year went by with Arden trying to have the case dismissed and Bradlow trying to convert to Chapter 7. Finally, Arden hired a new effective attorney (her previous attorneys having been ineffective) and the bankruptcy case was dismissed.

    However, the Bankruptcy judge would not agree to dismiss the case until Arden Van Upp agreed to sign a statement that she would not sue Bradlow, his attorneys and any of the other crooks and criminals who had stolen her money through these proceedings.

    Going back, the reason Arden Van Upp was in bankruptcy in the first place had to do with earthquake retrofitting. San Francisco is notoriously prone to earthquakes, such as the famous 1906 San Francisco Earthquake. Therefore, San Francisco required all residential buildings to be Earthquake retrofitted. This involved essentially lifting the buildings up on jacks and putting spongy material underneath so they will not fall down when a earthquake comes. However, Arden’s building at 2550 Webster is on a peak and built on solid rock so it will not shake or fall down when an earthquake comes. Earthquake retrofitting is a million dollar project especially on a huge 28 room mansion like the Bourn Mansion. Naturally, Arden resisted, although she did eventually get the mansion earthquake retrofitted.

    Meanwhile, the City of San Francisco sued and got a $600,000 default judgment against Arden in 1999. By 2009, after interest and penalties, the default judgment had increased to $950,000. This was the reason why Arden had not been able to refinance her properties and had been forced into bankruptcy.

    However, in late 2009 a San Francisco lawyer Peter Hadiaris had performed a miracle. He filed a proceeding to set aside the $950,000 judgment on the ground that Arden had never been served with legal process. He was successful. Naturally, the City of San Francisco was upset that they were not going to get the million dollars they thought they were getting and appealed, but in 2010 the California Court of Appeal affirmed so Arden was free of this debt.

    It was only after the $950,000 default judgment was set aside that Bradlow and the others moved in to get her assets. Prior to the judgment being vacated, there was not enough money for anybody as the City of San Francisco had a prior claim. However, with the $950,000 judgment extinguished there was money for everybody.

    David Bradlow claimed that because of derogatory remarks made about him in court pleadings and on the Internet, he is unable to secure work as nobody will appoint him as Trustee in Bankruptcy any more. This appears to be true. He does not seem to have been appointed by any judge or court ever since.

    The question is can Arden sue to recover any of the millions that were stolen from her by Bradlow and his attorneys and by her creditors who kept raising the interest rates on her loans.

    The obvious problem would be that a lot of the actions were approved by the bankruptcy court. She filed notices of appeal from all the decisions of the bankruptcy court but the appeals were all dismissed. She was often charged for things that had nothing to do with her. The law firm Wendel, Rosen, Black and Dean charged her for the costs of evicting Jeffrey Porteze, even though they had let him in and had given him the key. They charged her for erasing the statement from the Internet that David Bradlow is a Flaming Faggot from Google, although she had not made that statement. They charged her for an adversary proceeding against Sam Sloan and for evicting Sam Sloan from the premises where he had resided since 1991. For each of these items, they charged her several hundred thousand dollars, although the normal legal fees for such items would be only a few thousand dollars. That is how they consumed the entire $2.7 million from the courtroom bankruptcy sale.

    Arden’s mother, Doris Rich, had made her living buying and selling houses in Vallejo. This is how Arden got into that business. Her mother had owned seven houses in Vallejo. Arden had inherited several of these houses. In one of these houses, Arden had hired a contractor to renovate the house. The contractor had needed money to buy building equipment, wood and construction materials. He made a deal with Arden. She would temporarily deed the house to him, he would fix it up and then deed it back to her. However, when the time came, he did not deed it back to her and instead sold it and kept the money. Arden wants to sue him for this.

    All of these claims need to be evaluated to see if Arden can file suits to recover this money. Could Arden also get the courtroom sale of her mansion reversed as she says the mansion is now worth $50 million. As an elderly woman over 70 they were obviously taking advantage of her. Can she recover?

    Sam Sloan

    • Posted by Fishchum

      She was taken advantage of? Sounds like the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree as her siblings claim Arden would have her mother sign blank checks and took $700K from her. How do you explain a nurse being able to buy all those properties? Everything I’ve read about Arden leads me to believe she was a slumlord and a thief.

    • Posted by Skeeter

      Longest comment everrrrrr. Where did this come from?

      This whole thing is beyond belief, but the last part about the contractor makes no sense. You deed a property to a contractor with the agreement that he will deed it back? How is that supposed to cover the cost of equipment and materials? Wouldn’t deeding it back and forth result in losing the considerable Prop 13 protection?

      • Posted by inclinejj

        A guy I used to work with back in the day tried to deed a bunch of property to a friend of his, so his x-wife couldn’t get them. The guy would never deed them back and he skipped out of town and the guy could never find him. This had to be back in the early 1970’s or so.

    • Posted by JR "Bob" Dobbs

      This post is one long crock of sh** but quite fun to read!

  13. Posted by Amewsed

    This saga is simply painful to watch. What a sad sack! My family worked hard and sacrificed so much for my generation. I can’t fathom doing anything less than doubling my family’s net worth the legitimate way.

  14. Posted by Denis

    I don’t live that far away so I’ve heard all sorts of insane stories about this place. In a weird way, I’ll kind of miss seeing her skulking about in her Baby Jane make-up, uggs and mini-skirts. Though I doubt the neighbors will feel nostalgic for the annual armed police raids on her compound. In any case, she certainly made for some interesting stories.. Something tells me the foreclosure won’t be the end of them.

    Also, I googled the above post and it took me down a nightmarish rabbit hole of pure crazy… I don’t recommend it.

  15. Posted by james jr

    What an “only in SF” story.

  16. Posted by Lori

    No one ever took advantage of Arden Van Upp. She is a cunning slumlord who knew what she was doing.

    She is, however, a woman with mental illness and is a hoarder. The 2550 Webster home was an absolute disaster by the time she lost it to foreclosure. It was in such disrepair and the back of the house was literally gone. It was unfit for a human residence for decades. She just let it slowly deteriorate.

  17. Posted by Serge

    I’m surprised I have never heard of this before. The story sounds like it could be straight out of Hollywood. Speaking of which, does anyone remember the 1990 movie Pacific Heights with Michael Keaton? The story of Van Upp would make for a great reboot. They could even actually film in Pacific Heights this time (instead of Potrero Hill).

  18. Posted by george

    The house has thieves and drug addicts living in it now, who most probably are running a meth lab. Wish the police would bust them. They are ruining the neighborhood with their absurd behavior, and killing the people who are buying their drugs.

    • Posted by Lori

      What happened to the company that purchased the house and was doing major repairs and renovations?

    • Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

      Probably best to take your evidence to the police.

  19. Posted by inclinejj

    Status: Postponed from 07/05/2016 to 08/02/2016 by Bankruptcy
    APN: 0559-009 & 1269-037
    TS Number: 7684
    Sale Date: 07/05/2016
    Sale Time: 2:00 PM
    Sale County: SAN FRANCISCO
    Property Address: 2807-2809 STEINER STREET, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94123, 1019 ASHBURY STREET
    SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94117
    Sale Location: At the Van Ness Avenue entrance to the City Hall at 400 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco, CA.

  20. Posted by George

    Does anyone know if the auction for this property will still take place tomorrow, 8/2? Drug addict “residents” are still in the house cooking up a storm. We will go to the police this month if there is continued activity.

  21. Posted by SocketSite

    UPDATE: The two buildings were just foreclosed upon.

  22. Posted by Mike

    I’m still owed a holding deposit of $1800 that was never returned. She told me they dont want to rent to me and then never returned cash. Why she isn’t behind bars is baffling.

  23. Posted by Jaella D Benoit

    Arden was a wonderful public health nurse back in 1972-73.
    I’m sorry to hear of her misfortune and despite all that has been said I do wish her well.

  24. Posted by joe Gjerde

    The property is almost restored now and is amazing!!

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