Developer, Wife Hit With Federal Lawsuit 6-10-2010 - WSMV Channel 4

Developer, Wife Hit With Federal Lawsuit 6-10-2010

Reported By Larry Flowers
LaVERGNE, Tenn.LaVergne's most prominent developer and his wife have been hit with a federal lawsuit. A bank is claiming they defaulted on a multimillion-dollar loan.

Bank: Developer Defaulted On $11M Loan

A Smyrna branch of the Fifth-Third Bank is where Amnon Shreibman took out a $11.25 million loan. It was refinanced in 2008 and increased to $13.668 million. But attorneys for the bank have now filed a federal lawsuit against Shreibman, his wife, Ruth, and the family trust, alleging they defaulted on the loan -- something Shreibman's attorney denies.
"We dispute that Mr. Shreibman is in violation of the terms of meeting his obligations," said Imogene Boldin, Shreibman's attorney.
According to the lawsuit, Shreibman used 100 properties, 98 of them in the Lake Forest subdivision in LaVergne, as collateral. It says the developer currently owes more than $135,000 in property taxes to Davidson and Rutherford counties, more than $20,000 of that to the city of LaVergne. Because of that, the bank said, the loan is in default.
"So that still makes him responsible for the property taxes. Whether they are sitting empty or he's renting them out, he's still responsible," said LaVergne Mayor Ronnie Erwin.
"We don't deny that the 2009 property taxes haven't been made on some of the parcels of land," said Boldin. "But show me a builder or a developer who is totally current."
According to documents, officials with Fifth-Third Bank notified Shreibman in December that a payment of more than $42,000 was due on the loan. The bank tried to withdraw that amount, which put the account in a negative balance. The document states the trustee refused to cover the overdraft and has no intention to cover it at anytime.
"We deny that he is behind in payments of that loan," Boldin said.
According to the lawsuit, overdraft charges and penalties on the outstanding loan is more than $208,000. Under a swap agreement, an additional $873 million will soon be due.
Shreibman's attorneys said they are trying to put together their legal team. They have 21 days to respond to the lawsuit.
The Shreibmans have done a lot in the city, including donating land for the public library and city roundabout and 10 acres for a park.

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