|By Donna Gehrke-White, Sun Sentinel|
In a federal lawsuit, the
When a real estate trust company defaulted on the loan, Peninsula "was unable to foreclose on the property" because Akerman didn't have it in writing that the bank had a claim to the land, the
"We just got the lawsuit," Hill said, "but after reading it, we disagree with the
Batchelder retired some time ago from Akerman, Hill said. He is now living in the
The bank ultimately lost about
Thomas said that more than 40 percent of Peninsula's loans were non-paying three months before the
"At 20 percent, most banks are taken over," he said. "It's outrageous they waited so long."
"Peninsula failed primarily because its Board of Directors and management did not effectively manage the risks associated with the institution's rapid growth from 2003 to 2006 that led to a heavy concentration" of commercial and developers' real estate loans, the audit said.
In 2007, bank leaders retained Akerman to help protect the bank from a possible loss when it entered into negotiations with
"However, Defendants negligently failed to secure the Bank's interest in the real estate collateral, and when North Bay defaulted [in 2009], Peninsula was unable to foreclose on the property," the
Hill, the attorney for Akerman, said the law firm looked after the bank's interests and was not negligent.
Meanwhile, Peninsula's finances continued to deteriorate, and in 2010 regulators stepped in.
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|Source:||McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|