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Brown Lakeland Properties v. Renasant Bank

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

February 6, 2018

BROWN LAKELAND PROPERTIES AND CHARLES H. BROWN APPELLANTS
v.
RENASANT BANK APPELLEE

          DATE OF JUDGMENT: 09/08/2016

         RANKIN COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT HON. STEVE S. RATCLIFF III JUDGE

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANTS: PAMELA L. HANCOCK JEFFREY BRYAN MCGUIRE

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE: SCOTT R. HENDRIX L. BRADLEY DILLARD ROBERT BRANNON KAHLSTORF

          BEFORE LEE, C.J., FAIR AND GREENLEE, JJ.

          LEE, C.J.

         FOR THE COURT:

         ¶1. In this appeal we must decide whether the trial court properly granted summary judgment in favor of Renasant Bank, finding it was entitled to a deficiency judgment against Brown Lakeland Properties LLC (BLP) and Charles Brown (Brown). Finding no error, we affirm.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         ¶2. In November 2012, BLP executed two commercial promissory notes to Renasant Bank for the loan amounts of $2, 880, 320.87 (Note One) and $906, 786.40 (Note Two). Note One was secured by a 635-acre parcel of land in Yazoo County, Mississippi, and a 2.93-acre parcel of property in Brandon, Mississippi, on which a bowling alley sat. Note Two was secured by a 6.75-acre parcel of land on Old Fannin Road, also in Brandon, Mississippi. At the time the loans were made, Brown executed and delivered to Renasant Bank multiple continuing guaranties related to the notes, and in doing so, individually guaranteed to Renasant the indebtedness due on the notes. BLP defaulted on both loans, and Renasant foreclosed on the properties that had been pledged as security under the notes. Renasant purchased all three parcels at a public foreclosure sale.

         ¶3. In anticipation of the foreclosure sales, Renasant Bank obtained appraisals for all three parcels of land. The appraisals reported that the 2.93-acre, bowling-alley parcel had a market value of $1, 500, 000 and a disposition value (foreclosure or liquidation value) of $900, 000; the 635-acre tract in Yazoo County had a market value of $1, 240, 000 and a disposition value of $930, 000; and the 6.75-acre tract in Brandon had a market value of $1, 475, 000 and a disposition value of $885, 000. In December 2014, at a public foreclosure sale, Renasant purchased the Rankin County properties-the 2.93-acre parcel for $778, 100 and the 6.75-acre parcel for $780, 000. Renasant purchased the Yazoo County 635-acre parcel for $900, 000 at a public foreclosure sale in March 2015. BLP and Brown were given notice of the sales but did not attend either sale or bid on the properties.

         ¶4. In April 2015, Renasant sold the Yazoo County property to a third-party purchaser for an amount greater than that obtained at the foreclosure sale. Accordingly, Renasant applied the excess proceeds of $198, 774.44-being the difference between the proceeds from the foreclosure sale and the proceeds from the third-party purchase-as a credit to the indebtedness owed under the notes. Likewise, in May 2015, Renasant sold the Rankin County properties to a third-party purchaser for an amount greater than that obtained at the foreclosure sale. Renasant also applied the excess proceeds from this sale, $228, 501.59, as a credit to the indebtedness due under the notes.

         ¶5. After the collateral was liquidated and the excess proceeds from the third-party sales applied as credits to the notes, BLP and Brown remained indebted under the notes and continuing guaranties for the amount of $1, 375, 824.69. In July 2015, Renasant filed a complaint against BLP and Brown individually, seeking payment for the indebtedness due under the notes and continuing guaranties, as well as attorneys' fees and costs. In September 2015, BLP and Brown filed their answer, generally denying all of Renasant's claims and asserting all available defenses. BLP also filed a counterclaim, alleging that the foreclosure sales should be set aside for inadequate purchase prices, and that Renasant was negligent for failing to sell the properties in a commercially reasonable manner by failing to secure purchase prices that reflected the fair market values of the properties.

         ¶6. In May 2016, Renasant moved for summary judgment, asserting that it was entitled to relief under the terms of the notes and continuing guaranties due to the default of BLP. Renasant also moved for summary judgment with regard to BLP's counterclaim, asserting that there was no genuine issue of material fact regarding the commercial reasonableness of the sale. After a hearing on the motion, the trial court granted Renasant's motion for summary judgment, holding that BLP and Brown owed Renasant $1, 416, 722.86, which included legal fees, pre- and post-judgment interest, and costs. The trial court also dismissed BLP's counterclaim with prejudice. BLP and Brown now appeal and assert the following issues: 1) Renasant failed ...


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