February 3, 2023
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Lender sues Melchiori’s ex-wife


Heather Melchiori, the ex-wife of the embattled general contractor Mark Melchiori, faces a $1.3 million lawsuit from Rabobank alleging she failed to repay a business loan.

Melchiori Construction Co. collapsed into bankruptcy in October after dozens of lawsuits from subcontractors alleging it did not pay them for work. The final blow was a $9 million lawsuit from Santa Barbara Bank & Trust that forced both the company and Mark Melchiori to seek Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection listing up to $10 million in debts and $50,000 in assets.

The newest suit from Rabobank, filed Dec. 3 in Santa Barbara County Superior Court, is significant because it is the first to name Heather Melchiori as the lead defendant.

Heather Melchiori has not filed for bankruptcy. She and Mark Melchiori divorced earlier this year.

After the divorce, Linda Melchiori, Mark Melchiori’s stepmother, filed a lawsuit accusing the couple of using the divorce process to transfer assets to Heather Melchiori’s name and shield those assets from creditors. Santa Barbara Bank & Trust also alleged that Mark Melchiori transferred to Heather Melchiori houses that were pledged as collateral for its loans.

Attorneys for Heather Melchiori could not immediately be reached for comment.