A few months after the bank holding its mortgage sued it for foreclosure, Merrill-Stevens has emerged with a settlement agreement and modified mortgage.
Merrill-Stevens became embroiled in a foreclosure lawsuit with Coconut Grove Bank in June. The yard, founded in 1885 and operating on the Miami River since 1923, had taken a $15-million mortgage for its nearly six-acre property from the bank. According to court documents, Merrill-Stevens and Coconut Grove Bank came to a settlement on September 30. The $12.4 million that was still outstanding from the original loan was split into two portions. Hugh Westbrook, who owns the shipyard, and his wife, Carol Shields Westbrook, acquired one portion: a 29-percent interest, or $3.596 million. It’s considered a renewal loan, which in brief is a loan that changes the rate, payments, and maturity of an amount borrowed. The Westbrooks are responsible for repaying just the renewal loan, not the second portion from the split, which is $8.8 million.
Even if the Westbrooks end up selling Merrill-Stevens (whose website is offline at the time of this posting) at some point for less than what they owe, they are still responsible for paying the full renewal loan.