05/15/08 — Braswell denies defaulting on loan

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Braswell denies defaulting on loan

By Nick Hiltunen
Published in News on May 15, 2008 2:15 PM

Wayne Superior Court Judge Jerry Braswell said RBC Bank's lawsuit against him is due to a disagreement over interest rates and that he did not default on a loan, as the bank alleges.

RBC Bank sued the Braswell this month in an action that asks for about $40,000, plus interest and attorney fees the bank says it is still owed.

The judge said his account was transferred to Durham after an employee walkout at the local RBC branch.

Braswell said he knows RBC Bank believes he still owes money on the loan. But Braswell alleges the Durham-based RBC branch refused to honor the original interest rate terms of his commercial loan.

"I didn't see why I couldn't force them to honor their agreement," Braswell said. "We entered into an agreement ... I get (collateral properties) refinanced, get them transferred into Centura, and we'll get some kind of agreement."

But Toronto-based RBC Bank's lawsuit against Braswell alleges that transfer of some collateral properties was a "foreclosure sale," not a transfer and refinancing.

The lawsuit alleges Braswell "defaulted on the terms and conditions regarding payment ... and RBC accelerated the balance due."

According to the lawsuit, that led to a foreclosure sale on the collateral the judge used to get the loan.

The judge's collateral properties on the $480,000 commercial loan were 305, 405, 407 and 711 W. Chestnut Street, 100 Banks Avenue, 801 S. Slocumb Street, 712 Slaughter Street and 111 Quail Drive, according to the lawsuit.

Braswell said only some of the properties were actually involved in the foreclosure proceeding.

The judge said RBC Bank actually has transferred all properties involved back into his name.

But because all of the properties were on the original agreement, all had to be listed in the lawsuit, he said.

The foreclosure sale of some of Braswell's properties earned RBC Bank about $207,632, according to the lawsuit.

"Demand for payment has been made," the lawsuit states. "(Braswell) ... has failed to satisfy the indebtedness on the note."

But Braswell said payments on the loan itself were in good standing, as are other commercial loan accounts he holds in Goldsboro.

Braswell said it comes down to what he wanted to pay RBC Bank.

"I don't want to give them as much as they think I should, and that's where we are," Braswell said. "When the loan matured, rather than honor the agreement, they basically chose not to renew it. As a consequence of that, then I paid (RBC Bank) a substantial amount of money. It was over $300,000."

Braswell said he still owns the properties that RBC used as collateral in the Jan. 14 loan agreement.

A check of the Wayne County Geographic Information System shows Braswell's name still attached to some of the collateral properties.

Rocky Mount-based RBC Bank attorney David Warren said he could not discuss the specifics of the case because of the confidentiality agreements banks have with customers.

However, he said the lawsuit "speaks for itself."

"We hope to get this resolved," Warren said. "No hard feelings against Judge Braswell, it's just a business for the bank. (RBC) just needs its money. It made a loan and it needs to be repaid."

Braswell released this statement today in regard to a story published Wednesday.

"The newspaper article, based on a lawsuit filed by RBC Centura bank, implies that I defaulted on a loan, had my personal property seized by the bank and later sold to pay off the loan. Those allegations are completely false. I did not default on the loan. The loan was current, not in default, and simply matured and was not renewed. After the loan matured the bank and I agreed that the debt would be repaid from the refinance of each piece of property. The proceeds from the refinance I paid to the bank. I paid a total of $375,000. The bank then released these properties from the deed of trust. These properties were never seized or sold by RBC Centura. I am still the owner of these properties. The bank did not sell eight of my properties as alleged in the newspaper article. This lawsuit is about bank fees and other unidentified expenses that we can not agree upon and have tried to negotiate but have been

unable to resolve."