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VOL. 124 | NO. 251 | Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Daily Digest

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Renasant Reclaims 16 Eads Parcels

Renasant Bank has reclaimed 16 parcels – 13 of which are residential lots and three of which are common areas – in the Curtman Glenn Planned Development in unincorporated Shelby County near Eads following a foreclosure of the properties. The Tupelo, Miss.-based bank paid $1.6 million for the land from substitute trustee Paul N. Royal of the law firm Crislip, Philip and Associates.

The trustee’s sale occurred Nov. 20, but the deed wasn’t recorded with the Shelby County Register of Deeds until this week.

The previous owner of the properties, Grace Land Co. LLC, defaulted on a $2.2 million construction deed of trust, assignment of rents and security agreement through Renasant dated Aug. 1, 2005. Curtis Wegner signed the trust deed as manager of Grace Land.

Most of the 13 lots were appraised at around $200,000, according to the Shelby County Assessor of Property, and they ranged in size from two to four acres. The three common areas totaled close to 20 acres.

The plat for Curtman Glenn was approved for 20 lots on 53 acres and was recorded in August 2006. The development sits along Wiseman Road south of Raleigh-LaGrange Road just north of the Wolf River and Collierville.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

Eric Smith

First Horizon Stock Price Increases by 40 Percent

The stock price of Memphis-based First Horizon National Corp. – the parent company of First Tennessee Bank, the largest bank based in Tennessee – has shot up over the past year.

And FHN’s stock appears poised to end 2009 up a little more than 40 percent over mid-December 2008. That’s based on the Dec. 22, 2008, closing price of $9.58 and the Dec. 21, 2009, closing price of $13.79.

Andy Meek

November Home Sales Soar 7.4 Percent

Home sales surged last month to the highest level in nearly three years, reflecting an extraordinary level of federal support that has pulled the housing market back from the worst downturn since the Great Depression.

Buyers were racing to complete their sales before the original expiration date of a tax credit for first-time buyers that was scheduled to expire Nov. 30. Last month, Congress decided to extend and expand the credit to ensure the housing market could sustain its recovery.

The National Association of Realtors estimated that about 2 million homebuyers have taken advantage of the credit so far and forecasts another 2.4 million will use it by the middle of next year. First-time buyers made up about half of all transactions last month, driving sales up 44 percent above last year’s levels, a record jump.

Sales are now up 46 percent from the bottom in January, but down 10 percent from the peak more than four years ago.

The median sales price was $172,600, down 4.3 percent from a year earlier, and up 0.2 percent from October.

“Things are stabilizing,” said Pete Flint, chief executive of real estate Web site Trulia.com. “There is a significant amount of buyer interest out there.”

November sales rose 7.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.54 million, from a downwardly revised pace of 6.09 million in October.

Sales had been expected to rise to an annual pace of 6.25 million, according to economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters.

The inventory of unsold homes on the market fell about 1 percent to 3.5 million. That’s a healthy 6.5-month supply at the current sales pace, the lowest level in three years.

Besides the existing tax credit of up to $8,000 for first-time buyers, homeowners who have lived in their current properties for at least five years can now claim a tax credit of up to $6,500 if they relocate. To qualify, buyers must sign a purchase agreement by April 30.

– The Associated Press

Public TV Names Ramsey State Legislator of Year

Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey has been named Tennessee Legislator of the Year for 2009 by the six Tennessee public television stations.

Ramsey was presented the award by WKNO TV President and CEO Michael J. LaBonia and William Taylor, WKNO board chair, at a recent meeting of the WKNO Board of Trustees.

Ramsey was honored with the award for his help in securing state appropriations for the six public television stations in Tennessee as important educational institutions.

The other five public television stations are WNPT, ETPtv, WTCI, WLJT and WCTE.

– Taylor Shoptaw

Tupelo Mayor Backs Delta Bid for Service There

Tupelo Mayor Jack Reed Jr. is backing a bid by Delta Air Lines and its subsidiary to provide federally subsidized air service in the city.

Reed told the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal he wrote a letter supporting Delta to the U.S. Department of Transportation, which will award the subsidy.

He rejected a bid by SeaPort Airlines, which proposed four daily flights to Memphis and three to Atlanta. Under that plan, passengers would have to pay for separate tickets to their next destination through a major airline.

Passengers would avoid that extra step with Delta subsidiary Mesaba Airlines.

Tupelo currently has one daily flight to Memphis and Atlanta.

Mesaba proposed two daily departures from Tupelo to Memphis and one to Atlanta.

– The Associated Press

Lawmakers Want Tenn. AG To Block Health Care Bill

Two Republican state lawmakers in Tennessee want the state attorney general to take legal action to block health care legislation that appears headed for passage in Congress.

Reps. Susan Lynn of Mt. Juliet and Debra Maggart of Hendersonville call the federal program an “unfunded mandate.”

Lynn calls the federal legislation “an affront to our sovereignty” and a breach of the U.S. Constitution.

A spokeswoman for Atty. Gen. Bob Cooper did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Lynn and Maggart said in a release the health care changes could cost Tennessee taxpayers $1.4 billion a year.

State estimates for cost of the House version of the bill run at $1.4 billion over a five-year period beginning in 2014. The Senate version is estimated to cost about half that amount.

– The Associated Press

PROPERTY SALES 34 34 3,905
MORTGAGES 47 47 4,437
BUILDING PERMITS 190 190 9,458
BANKRUPTCIES 60 60 2,945