WBL SPO I, LLC v. West Town Bank & TrustAnnotate this Case
The junior creditor, WBL SPO, LLC (WBL), claimed it was entitled to sue the foreclosing creditor, West Town Bank & Trust (West Town), for not bidding a high enough price for an encumbered property. In 2015, West Town loaned $4.4 million to DIA Lodging and DJ Lodging (collectively, DJ Lodging). The loan was secured not only by the Biloxi hotel but also by another hotel in Forrest City, Arkansas. At the time of the loan, the preloan appraisal valued the Biloxi hotel at $5.45 million. WBL had the second mortgage on the Biloxi hotel; both loans were secured by the Biloxi and Arkansas hotels. DJ Lodging quickly fell behind on its weekly payments to WBL. It also defaulted on its payments to West Town. Based on the default, West Town informed WBL of its intention to commence a nonjudicial foreclosure. West Town had obtained an appraisal of the hotel in January 2020 that indicated the fair market value of the property was $2.75 million. The year before, in February 2019, West Town had obtained an appraisal from a different firm valuing the property at just $1.7 million. West Town decided to split the difference between the two appraisals and make a $2.195 credit bid at the foreclosure sale. West Town averred that, at the time of foreclosure, DJ Lodging still owed $4.5 million. WBL was owed half a million dollars. The foreclosure sale proceeded in March 2020, and West Town’s $2.195 million credit bid was the only bid. West Town transferred its interest in the hotel to Patriarch, LLC, a single-purpose entity established to hold properties West Town acquired in foreclosure. Patriarch then sold the property to a third party for $1.9 million. WBL claimed it was entitled to an “equitable credit” in the form of money damages for the difference between the amount West Town purchased the hotel at the foreclosure sale and the allegedly higher commercially reasonable value of the property. The trial court rejected WBL’s equitable-credit claim. Because WBL’s claims against West Town were based on an asserted legal right that did not exist, the Mississippi Supreme Court concurred West Town was entitled to summary judgment as a matter of law.