Judge Blocks Foreclosure of United Healthcare Services building

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District Court Judge Rob Bare ruled Monday the foreclosure sought by LNR Partners is invalid, thereby preventing the loan special servicer from moving forward with the foreclosure of the United HealthCare Services (UHS) building at 2716 N. Tenaya Way.

“The ruling stops the improper foreclosure and allows the Tenaya investors to demonstrate to the court why they feel these Wall Street giants have taken advantage of them,” said Phil Jemmett, CEO of Breakwater Equity Partners.

Breakwater Equity Partners announced today District Court Judge Rob Bare ruled the foreclosure sought by LNR Partners is invalid, thereby preventing the loan special servicer from moving forward with the foreclosure of the United HealthCare Services (UHS) building at 2716 N. Tenaya Way. In the Eight Judicial District Court of Nevada Monday (case no. A-12-658265-C) Judge Bare concluded the foreclosure notices were not properly filed by LNR Partners.

A temporary restraining order granted on July 6 initially halted the scheduled July 9 foreclosure sale of the property. Monday’s decision halts the foreclosure sale indefinitely and orders expedited discovery and a hearing on the TIC investors’ lawsuit against Wachovia (now Wells Fargo) and LNR Partners. The lawsuit involves on a host of allegations related to the lenders’ handling of the United Health Services property, including fraud, conspiracy to secure an inflated appraisal and unlawful foreclosure. The hearing is expected to take place within 120 days.

The Tenaya TIC investors allege LNR Partners interfered with their attempts to refinance the property and is trying to force the thriving health services complex into foreclosure so it could be purchased at a discount. The investors retained Breakwater Equity Partners, a consulting firm specializing in commercial loan workouts, to help them restructure the debt on the property and guide them through the investment recovery legal process.

“The ruling stops the improper foreclosure and allows the Tenaya investors to demonstrate to the court why they feel these Wall Street giants have taken advantage of them,” said Phil Jemmett, CEO of Breakwater Equity Partners. “They deserve the opportunity to hold on to their investment, and we will continue to fight to protect their life savings.”

In 2006, the Tenaya TIC investors came together to purchase the $74,250,000 office building. During the real estate boom of the early 2000s, many individual investors sought to reposition their financial portfolios with what appeared to be safe commercial real estate investments that would generate predictable returns.

The investors allege they were misled by financial advisors and lenders who charged outrageous commissions and conspired to inflate appraisal values. According to court documents, the investors claim the transaction was flawed from its inception because the original sponsor may have conspired with Wachovia (now Wells Fargo) to create a fraudulent, inflated appraisal.

Court documents contend that problems arose for the investors as the August 2011 maturity date of the property’s loan drew near. The lender refused to extend the nearly $51 million loan, and the investors were unable to refinance unless a long-term lease agreement could be reached with the building’s sole tenant, United HealthCare Services. UHS abruptly withdrew from the lease negotiation process with the Tenaya TIC investors, making it impossible to refinance and placing the building in danger of foreclosure.

Bart Larsen, an attorney with Kolesar & Leatham representing the investors, said there is evidence that LNR Partners improperly interfered with the negotiations.

“The Tenaya investors could face financial ruin as a result of this unsettling situation,” Larsen said. “We will move forward with this lawsuit in hopes of providing the investors with some semblance of justice.”

Contact: Aimee Romero
MassMedia (702) 433-4331 or (702) 469-0505
Aimee (at) massmediacc (dot) com

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