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VOL. 127 | NO. 241 | Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Daily Digest

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Southwind Hampton Inn Sells for $5.6 Million

The Hampton Inn Memphis-Southwind hotel at 3579 Hacks Cross Road sold for $5.6 million in a successor trustee’s deed following a foreclosure.

An entity called LB-UBS 2007-C6 Hacks Cross Road REO LLC – in care of Stamford, Conn.-based Five Mile Capital Partners – bought the property Oct. 29, although the Shelby County Register of Deeds didn’t process the deed until this week.

Erika R. Barnes of Nashville law firm Stites & Harbison PLLC served as successor trustee.

The lender appointed her as successor trustee after the hotel’s Memphis-based ownership group defaulted on an $11.5 million loan.

A first-run foreclosure notice that ran in The Daily News in September showed Hacks Cross Enterprises LLC took out the loan through Lehman Brothers Bank in 2007.

Built in 1999, the four-story, 72,680-square-foot Hampton Inn Southwind is on 2.2 acres on the west side of Hacks Cross north of Winchester Road, across from FedEx Express’ World Headquarters.

Hacks Cross Enterprises bought the then-vacant land in 1998 for $935,000.

The property, currently appraised by the Shelby County Assessor at $7.3 million, was slated for sale Oct. 9 at the Shelby County Courthouse but later was postponed.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

SEC Charges Eight Directors of Morgan Keegan Funds

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced charges Monday, Dec. 10, against eight former members of the boards of five Morgan Keegan mutual funds for “violating their asset pricing responsibilities under the federal securities laws.”

The Memphis-based funds, according to regulators, were invested in some securities backed by subprime mortgages and “fraudulently overstated the value of their securities” as the housing market was collapsing in 2007.

The SEC and other state regulators previously charged the funds’ managers with fraud, and Morgan Keegan – which has since been sold to Raymond James Financial Inc. – later agreed to pay a fine to settle the charges.

“Investors rely on board members to establish an accurate process for valuing their mutual fund investments,” said Robert Khuzami, director of the SEC’s enforcement division, in a statement about the action. “Otherwise, they are left in the dark about the value of their investments and handicapped in their ability to make informed decisions. Had the board not abdicated its responsibilities, investors may have stood a better chance of preserving their hard-earned nest assets.”

Morgan Keegan issued a statement in response to the action blasting the action as the SEC “retroactively” regulating by enforcement an area the board has not provided “meaningful guidance” in through the normal regulatory process.

The eight fund directors named in the enforcement action are J. Kenneth Alderman of Birmingham, Ala.; Jack R. Blair of Germantown; Albert C. Johnson of Hoover, Ala.; James Stillman R. McFadden of Germantown; Allen B. Morgan Jr. of Memphis; W. Randall Pittman of Birmingham; Mary S. Stone of Birmingham; and Archie W. Willis III of Memphis.

– Andy Meek

Haslam Decides Against Health Insurance Exchange

Gov. Bill Haslam has decided not to create a state-run health insurance exchange, leaving the operation to the federal government.

Haslam announced his decision during a speech Monday, Dec. 10. The Republican governor, who had until Friday to decide, said the lack of information from the federal government was “scary.”

The exchanges, part of the federal health care overhaul, create new online markets where consumers will be able to buy individual private health insurance coverage.

Haslam previously said the state likely could run an exchange more efficiently but acknowledged getting legislative approval would be difficult.

Many Republican lawmakers ran for office on a platform of opposing President Barack Obama’s health care plan. Tea party supporters protested the idea of a state-run exchange outside the Capitol last week, deriding it as “Haslamcare.”

– The Associated Press

Wharton, Lenoir Relaunch ‘Bank on Memphis’

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. and Shelby County Trustee David Lenoir are relaunching a financial literacy program, “Bank On Memphis,” with a $10,000 contribution from Regions Bank for renewed marketing and other outreach costs.

Bank On Memphis was launched in March 2011 as a countywide effort designed to reach an estimated 96,000 unbanked or underbanked residents. The goal was then and remains to better explain the banking process and its benefits and lower barriers that might keep poorer citizens from depositing their money or prompt them to seek out legal but more expensive financial solutions like payday and title loans when lower interest financing options are available.

The relaunch will focus on the South Memphis area and it will worth in conjunction with Wharton’s Innovation Delivery Team effort. The innovation team effort is a set of initiatives to reduce gun violence and encourage small locally owned business growth in three sections of the city, including South Memphis. It is funded separately by the Bloomberg Foundation.

– Bill Dries

Memphis Bar Association Announces New Positions

The Memphis Bar Association has its new officers for 2013.

Linda Warren Seely, director of private attorney involvement with Memphis Area Legal Services Inc., is the 2013 president. Kirk Caraway, an attorney with Allen, Summers, Simpson, Lillie & Gresham PLLC, is the new vice president. Tommy Parker, an attorney with Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz PC is the new secretary/treasurer.

New members of the board of directors include David Harris, Jana Davis Lamanna, Emily Landry, Mike Robb, Abby Webb, Shea Wellford and Young Lawyers Division president Annie Christoff. Newly elected section representatives are Dean DeCandia and Clint Hermes.

– Andy Meek

$375,000 Grant Awarded to UTHSC for Eye Research

The National Eye Institute has awarded a grant worth $375,000 to the University of Tennessee Health Science Center for vision research.

The grant from the NEI, which is an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, will fund research to focus on development of new blood vessels for the retina.

The primary objective of the NEI’s Core Grants for Vision Research is to provide groups of investigators who have achieved independent NEI funding with additional support for conducting vision research.

NEI, the first government organization solely dedicated to research on human visual diseases and disorders, was established by Congress in 1968.

– Andy Meek

MAAR Reports November Home Sales

Memphis-area home sales for November increased 8.5 percent from a year ago, with 1,180 total sales recorded in the Memphis Area Association of Realtors MAARdata property records database.

Total sales decreased 13.9 percent from October. Average sales price year over year was up 6.2 percent at $128,339.

Inventory declined 4.4 percent, with 6,805 units listed for sale. Sales volume year to date increased 19.3 percent to $1.79 billion.

The database includes records of all property transactions in Shelby, Fayette and Tipton counties.

To see real estate information company Chandler Reports’ November totals for Shelby County, see Page 1.

– Sarah Baker

Flinn Broadcasting Launches Memphis Kissin’ Country

Flinn Broadcasting Corp. launched a radio station Monday, Dec. 10, called Memphis Kissin’ Country 97.7FM/1430 WOWW-AM.

A Flinn Broadcasting press release said that there are country listeners in Memphis that have requested “less talk and more music.”

97.7 Memphis Kissin’ Country will serve those listeners with music and “tons of giveaway opportunities.”

– Sarah Baker

PROPERTY SALES 56 289 2,908
MORTGAGES 55 226 2,009
BUILDING PERMITS 108 1,002 6,703
BANKRUPTCIES 42 248 1,225