Economy Takes Toll On Burrow Spec Buys

by Mark Friedman  on Monday, Mar. 12, 2012 12:00 am  

Working Way Out
An example of Burrow's efforts to shed debt and property can be found in Iberiabank's lawsuit against Burrow, his Burrow Family Trust and Realty Associates Brokerage Inc.

In July 2010, Iberiabank sued in Craighead County Circuit Court in an attempt to recover $2.1 million in defaulted loans. Burrow said in response that he had signed an agreement to make the payments just two months earlier and had promptly paid $600,000.

But that wasn't enough.

Burrow admitted that he defaulted, but he was provoked because in the meantime Iberiabank wanted him to pay $10,000 to "cover a one-time waiver of the ... ‘defaults,'" he said in his countersuit.

Burrow's filing describes the fee as "nothing less than a predatory lending attempt at a white-collar shakedown." It was, his countersuit says, "a blatant effort to exploit Burrow's current liquidity problems in the midst of the most severe economic crisis since the Great Depression in order to further ‘pad' [Iberiabank's] quarterly earnings for the financial quarter ending June 30."

Burrow is countersuing for breach of contract and is seeking an unspecified amount of money for damages. The case remains open.

Iberiabank's attorney, Harry Hurst Jr. of Jonesboro, didn't return a call for comment last week.

Other Banks
Burrow said it didn't help his financial situation that he had triple heart bypass surgery in August 2010 and spent nine months recovering.

In the meantime, seven more banks followed Iberiabank's lead by suing Burrow.

The Focus Bank in Charleston, Mo., has received $2.97 million, which is the largest judgment against Burrow so far. It received the judgment on Jan. 17 for a 2008 loan that Burrow defaulted on. Focus also named as a defendant WHB LLC, which is also known as Burrow Halsey Holdings LLC.

In February, the bank recovered nearly 30 acres of undeveloped land in Jonesboro as a result of the default judgment.

Burrow said last week that he was working with the other banks to sell his property, and he said that there was no one better to sell it than he.

"I'm the one that has the heart, soul and blood in it and knows pretty much what to do," Burrow said. "Running out of liquidity doesn't make you all of a sudden go from a genius to a dummy." 



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