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Foreclosure Surprised Regions Building Owners

2 min read

An attorney for the owners of the 30-story Regions Center in downtown Little Rock said recently that he had no indication that a foreclosure lawsuit was being filed against the property.

“We were having discussions about resolving issues … and then they just decided to file,” said Mark Rubin, a Florida attorney who represents the ownership group. “I can tell you that I’m confident that this building is not going to change hands and this building is not going to be foreclosed on.”

Wells Fargo Bank filed the foreclosure lawsuit in Pulaski County Circuit Court on Nov. 8. It alleged the 32 LLCs with an ownership interest in the building defaulted on the $32 million loan used to buy the property in 2006. As of Nov. 7, according to the bank, the defendants owed $29.6 million.

Wells Fargo has also asked for an emergency hearing for appointment of a receiver. That hearing is scheduled for Jan. 12 in front of Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza.

Rubin said that the ownership group has some claims against the building’s lender, but he declined to go into details.

“Sometimes when there’s a dispute in a local market, vultures start to circle and think that there’s money to be made,” Rubin said.

Earlier this year, the 547,000-SF Regions Center was listed for sale with a $40 million asking price. Rubin said earlier this month that the building was no longer for sale.

About two weeks before the foreclosure suit was filed, Rubin told Whispers that the building had had some interest from buyers.

And when asked about a foreclosure lawsuit that might have been in the works, Rubin called it “wild speculation. … Actually, I’m somewhat offended by that because I don’t know why a rumor like that would be circulating.”

Wells Fargo, though, said in its lawsuit that it had sent “multiple notices of default” to the borrowers.

The loan matured on Sept. 1, triggering a default the borrowers failed to cure under provisions of the 2006 funding agreement.

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