Actor Burt Reynolds was not in court when a Martin County circuit judge refused to throw out a 2011 foreclosure lawsuit filed against him. The lawsuit – filed by Merrill Lynch Credit Corp. — now Bank of America – seeks to collect $1.2 million that is allegedly owed on the Hobe Sound estate he has nick-named “Valhalla.” He was represented by two attorneys. Reynolds has been accused of not making a mortgage payment since Sept. 1, 2010 on the waterfront home in the 1600 block of South Federal Highway.
Foreclosure Lawsuit Allegedly Contained Inconsistencies
Reynolds’s attorneys failed to convince Martin Circuit Judge James McCann that the lawsuit should be dismissed because it contained several inconsistencies. These inconsistencies include that the wrong creditor filed the suit in 2011. This was after Merrill Lynch merged with Bank of America. During the brief hearing Reynolds’ lawyers contended that Bank of America lacked the legal standing that would have been required to sue Reynolds for foreclosure. But McCann disagreed.
Judge McCann Disagreed
McCann told Reynolds’ lawyers that when Merrill Lynch merged with Bank of America, the companies became one. Thus, the surviving entity had legal standing to pursue the foreclosure lawsuit.
“If Merrill Lynch and Bank of America both existed when this action was filed on June 29, 2011, and Bank of America was the holder of the note, you’d be right, and I’d have to dismiss this case,” McCann told Bonfiglio and other lawyers in court. “But if, as it is in fact … there was no such entity as Merrill Lynch Credit Corp., because it had previously, before June 29, 2011, merged into Bank of America NA, then they simply named the wrong plaintiff and I don’t think that is a standing issue. Because the owner of the note on June 29, 2011 had the right to bring this action to foreclose on the mortgage.”
Not Just Foreclosure for Reynolds
This is not the first indications that Reynolds has been experiencing financial troubles. He has tried to sell the 12,5000 square-foot home since 2005. It is currently listed for $4.9 million. Reynolds’ famous ex-wife actress Loni Anderson, was also named as a defendant. The lawsuit encompasses two second mortgages, counter-complaints, and has resulted in Reynolds testifying during two contentious depositions. During an April 17 deposition, Reynolds’ lawyer repeatedly advised him to not answer questions posed by opposing counsel. No trial date has been set.
Source: TC Palm, Judge won’t dismiss foreclosure lawsuit involving Burt Reynolds’ Hobe Sound estate, May 27th, 2014