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$22M foreclosure suit targets local apartment complexes

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The owner of three apartment complexes in Indianapolis is the target of a $22 million foreclosure suit brought by a lender seeking to have the properties placed in receivership.

New York-based Merrill Lynch Mortgage Lending Inc. is suing several affiliates of Montvale, N.J.-based Empire American Holdings, which owns 328 properties in 17 states.

In the suit filed Monday in Marion Superior Court, Merrill Lynch alleges Empire affiliates defaulted on a loan provided in May 2007 that included financing for the three Indianapolis complexes.

They are the 160-unit Dogwood Glen Apartments near West 79th Street and Township Line Road on the city’s northwest side; the 125-unit Elmtree Park Apartments near East 10th Street and North German Church Road on the far-east side; and the 135-unit Heathmoore Apartments near South Arlington Avenue and East Thompson Road on the southeast side.

Average monthly rents at the three complexes range from $420 to $508.
 
None of the principal has been paid on any of the three loans, according to the suit. The amounts are $6.7 million on the Dogwood loan, $4.2 million on the Elmtree loan and $5.2 million on the Heathmoore loan, Merrill Lynch alleges.

Millions of dollars in interest and penalties push the total amount owed to nearly $22 million, according to the suit.

Merrill Lynch said trustee U.S. Bank sent its first notice of default in December 2010 and followed with a second notice in March 2011.  

The lender is suing the affiliates for breach of contract and is asking a judge to appoint a receiver to manage the three properties as it attempts to take possession of them.

A phone number listed for Empire American Holdings was not in service Wednesday morning.

Merrill Lynch is represented by attorneys at Barnes & Thornburg LLP.
 

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