Port Authority faces foreclosure hearing next month

Published: Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 11:40 AM.

There were plenty of positives discussed during last week’s Port of Port St. Joe Authority meeting, but the cloud looming over the port moves closer.

Port attorney Tom Gibson told the Port Authority board that hearings had been set for early March to hear arguments in the foreclosure case being brought by Capital City Bank.

The bank is seeking to foreclose on the port’s parcel that is adjacent to the Intracoastal Canal and contains the port’s barge bulkhead and uplands improvements.

The bank holds a mortgage in excess of $4 million on the property – which is not part of the Arizona Chemical land the Port Authority owns free and clear – and has pursued foreclosure after negotiations on a new payment plan broke down.

The Port Authority is effectively currently operating without revenue and has not made a payment on the mortgage in more than a year.

Capital City Bank, Gibson said, would be seeking a summary judgment in its favor, allowing it to take possession of the land without a hearing. A summary judgment, Gibson said, would be awarded if a Gulf County Circuit Court Judge finds no issues of fact.

“Our aim is to avoid a summary judgment against us,” Gibson said. “We are hoping the judge will find issues of fact which sets up for a trial.”

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