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VOL. 130 | NO. 58 | Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Daily Digest

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Memphis-Area Homes Part of $553 Million Loan

A total of 66 residential single-family rental properties in the Memphis area, including the cities of Memphis, Lakeland and Arlington, are part of a massive loan arranged by Goldman Sachs for a leading residential real estate investment trust.

An affiliate of American Homes 4 Rent, the country’s second largest single-family landlord, filed a $552.8 million loan with Goldman Sachs Mortgage Co., according to a March 6 deed of trust. The deed of trust said the deal included $38.6 million in 66 properties in Shelby County.

The value of the collateral of Tennessee properties is $55.6 million, of a total collateral of $789.8 million.

A January report from Bloomberg News said American Homes 4 Rent planned to sell around $550 million of debt in a deal arranged by Goldman Sachs. The report noted American Homes 4 Rent has spent $3.5 billion to acquire more than 21,000 rental houses across the U.S., making it the biggest landlord after Blackstone Group LP. The report said the loan is backed by rental home payments.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Amos Maki

Memphis Fire Department to Test New Strategies

The Memphis Fire Department plans to test software this summer that it hopes will reduce non-emergency ambulance calls it responds to.

The pilot program is one part of a long-term strategy for the department recently rolled out by the administration of Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr.

The software would route non-emergency ambulance calls to registered nurses provided by local hospitals who would evaluate what is needed and direct those callers to clinics or other solutions short of an ambulance ride to an emergency department.

Memphis Fire Director Michael Putt also has plans to change fire department recruiting to hire more firefighters who already have certifications they have to earn on the job.

Meanwhile, those seeking to become emergency medical technicians would train for that designation off duty, reducing the amount of time in on duty training by six months. The change would also reduce the city’s training cost per firefighter – currently $40,167 – by more than half.

The fire department currently has about 500 firefighter/paramedics and 1,100 firefighter/EMTs.

Putt told Memphis City Council members the fire department would begin recruiting firefighters in the ninth and 10th grades including offering EMT scholarships EMT and paramedic training as well as some part-time jobs to high school graduates. City rules set the minimum age for Memphis firefighters at 21.

The strategies for the fire division – and one for the police department to be unveiled next month – are both areas chief administrative officer George Little has been coordinating in the still pending shuffle of Wharton’s administration.

As chief operating officer, Little would focus on the pursuit of both strategies.

– Bill Dries

Master Your Market Seminar to Examine Real Estate Trends

Real estate industry professionals will have the opportunity this week to learn more about major trends in the local real estate market, including residential and commercial sales, new housing, foreclosures and lending practices.

Real estate information company Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com, will host its Master Your Market 2014 Year-in-Review seminar Thursday, March 26. The event will be held from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Memphis Marriot East, in the Noble Ballroom.

The presentation will include Chandler Reports market trends reports covering residential and commercial sales, foreclosure activity, new housing analysis and trends in lending.

Eric Barnes, Publisher for The Daily News and The Memphis News, will serve as the event moderator.

Guest panelists Keith Barger, executive vice president of Patriot Bank; Jules Wade, principal broker at Coldwell Banker Collins-Maury; and David Goodwin Jr., president of Goodwin Homes and 2015 president of the West Tennessee Home Builders Association, will review 2014’s activity and provide some projections for this year.

Attendees will receive an electronic copy of the Chandler Reports presentation along with copies of the most popular trend reports. The cost is $10 for Chandler Reports subscribers, $15 for non-subscribers. The event also includes a question-and-answer session with the panel.

Anyone interested in attending “Master Your Market” can contact Wendy Greenlaw at 528-5273 or wendy@chandlerreports.com. Online registration is available at seminars.memphisdailynews.com. Chandler Reports is a division of The Daily News Publishing Co. Inc.

– Amos Maki

Former County Commissioner Thomas Joins Redwing Group

Former Shelby County Commissioner and former Lakeland city manager Chris Thomas has joined the Redwing Group, the strategic marketing and communications firm that includes government relations and lobbying work.

Thomas formally joins the firm headed by Ron Redwing and Jerry Hall with a reception Wednesday, March 25, at the Crescent Club in East Memphis.

Thomas, who also served on the Memphis City Schools Board and as Probate Court Clerk, was dismissed as Lakeland city manager earlier this year in a vote by the mayor and board of aldermen.

He joined Lakeland city government at the end of 2014 after serving one term on the county commission.

– Bill Dries

Magna Promotes Crocker to Chief Information Officer

Magna Bank has announced several hires and promotions.

The personnel moves include promoting Steve Crocker to chief information officer. As CIO, Crocker will continue to lead technology and information security projects for the bank, which in 2015 will include financial management tools, significant website updates and the transition to EMV-chipped debit cards, among other things.

The bank also has made one new hire in the commercial banking group, as well as two additional promotions.

Jeff Hall has joined Magna as vice president of commercial banking. Victoria Barnes-Ragland has been promoted to retail corporate trainer, and Christie McCormack has been promoted to branch sales manager.

Hall will focus on the development, growth and retention of commercial client relationships. As retail corporate trainer, a new position at Magna, Barnes-Ragland will use the 15 years she’s spent working in retail banking to help train and develop employees. And as branch sales manager at Magna’s Cordova location, McCormack is responsible for overseeing the overall operations of the branch.

– Andy Meek

Brown Contempt Citation Upheld by Appeals Court

A year to the day that former Criminal Court Judge Joe Brown was jailed for contempt by a Juvenile Court magistrate, the Tennessee Court of Appeals rejected his claim that Magistrate Harold Horne denied him due process and punished him for “zealous advocacy” on behalf of his client.

“Despite Mr. Brown’s insistence to the contrary, this case clearly involved direct criminal contempt,” wrote Appeals Court Judge Brandon O. Gibson in the court opinion, published Tuesday, March 24.

Brown was cited for contempt multiple times by Horne a year earlier: Brown questioned whether Horne was legally a judge and then claimed Horne could only fine him $10 for each instance of contempt and could not jail him. Brown was protesting a delay in a case before Horne.

Brown, who at the time was running for District Attorney General, was jailed for a day before he was released pending an appeal. Horne had sentenced him to five days for five separate contempt citations.

The challenge to Horne’s authority as an appointed magistrate echoed claims about Juvenile Court’s authority that Brown has made repeatedly over the years.

The appeals court ruling upholds the contempt citations and sends the matter back to Juvenile Court.

“The imposition of summary punishment was justified given Mr. Brown’s boisterous conduct in the courtroom and his failure to obey the trial court’s directive,” Gibson wrote. “Here summary punishment was in order, and the magistrate did not err or otherwise violate Mr. Brown’s due process rights by the procedure employed.”

Brown didn’t raise his challenge of Horne’s authority in the appeal which the court noted in a footnote of its 18-page opinion.

But Gibson in the footnote cites state law on the authority of Juvenile Court’s to punish a person for contempt of court as well as juvenile court magistrate’s having “the powers of a trial judge” in their proceedings.

– Bill Dries

RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 0 110 19,224
MORTGAGES 0 125 22,175
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 58 2,894
BUILDING PERMITS 0 116 39,432
BANKRUPTCIES 0 98 12,346
BUSINESS LICENSES 0 21 6,287
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 41 7,313
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 35 4,396