Saratoga County

Credit union initiates foreclosure of Carney’s Tavern property in Ballston Lake

Carney's Tavern at 17 Main St. in Ballston Lake is pictured.

Carney's Tavern at 17 Main St. in Ballston Lake is pictured.

A credit union holding a lien against the historic Carney’s Tavern property in Ballston Lake last week initiated foreclosure against Rosemary Carney, asking the court to allow the property to be sold.

Sunmark Federal Credit Union in Saratoga County Court on Thursday opened the foreclosure proceeding against Carney, which the credit union alleges defaulted on a loan of more than $600,000. The loan was secured by the property listed at 15 Main St. and 17 to 19 Main St. in Ballston Lake, which includes a small apartment unit, vacant land and the historic pub closed in July after operators Matt and Stephanie Finnigan announced they planned to start a new venture. (The Finnigans are not involved in the foreclosure proceeding.)  

The Latham-based credit union in the court filing outlines a total lien of $692,000 on the property, noting that Carney still owed over $520,000 on the principal of outstanding debt, and asks the court to order the property be sold to pay down that debt.

The building, built sometime in the 1840s, has been home to numerous taverns, inns and restaurants over the decades. Local musicians have played at the bar, and Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake graduates have used the venue as the site of reunions. The building purportedly was visited by Theodore Roosevelt as he was on his way to be sworn in as president.

Carney and her family have been affiliated with the property for nearly 40 years, but the Finnigans owned the pub business since 2013, leasing space from Carney. Finnigan, after announcing the pub’s closure, said that the old building needed more investment than he thought was worth the time, energy and expense. 

“It’s too much of an expensive and large project for us to even consider,” he said in July. “It was an overall nice spot to be, unfortunately, it’s just the condition of the building, it’s just expired. Every time you repair one thing, something else is wrong.”

While Carney insisted she planned to reopen the pub within days of Finnigan’s departure, she did not have the necessary liquor license to sell alcohol, and the pub has remained closed for the past two months.  

The latest legal filing suggests that Carney also faces large unpaid debts and that the Carney’s Pub property could be tied up in litigation – or be sold to reduce the debt. Carney was partly protected by an ongoing personal bankruptcy proceeding between 2014 and 2019, according to court records, but her bankruptcy was dismissed in December 2019 for failure to make payments required under her court-approved repayment plan.   

It is not clear if Carney has been served with the foreclosure summons filed in court last week. When reached by phone on Monday, she said that was the first she had heard about the foreclosure and she declined to comment further.

The foreclosure filing includes over 200 pages of supporting documents outlining numerous mortgages on the property that have been consolidated over the years, resulting in the lien held by Sunmark.

Categories: Business, News, Saratoga County

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