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Property owned by lawmaker faces foreclosure
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Forsyth County News

Financial troubles don’t seem to be improving for state Sen. Jack Murphy of Cumming.

A 1-acre property owned by Murphy, a Republican from District 27 and chairman of the state Senate Banking Committee, is slated for a July 5 foreclosure.

The tract on 304 Tribble Gap Road was purchased from former state Rep. Tom Knox, who runs his law firm on the neighboring property.

Murphy said he bought the land for future office buildings, but the development contracts fell through and then the real estate market began to decline "so we were just left."

"I’m a real estate investor and I have several investments," he said. "Some of them are good, some of them are bad, but most of them are good."

Murphy took out a $228,000 loan with Integrity Bank in 2006, when he was still serving on the bank’s board of directors. The bank failed in 2008 and was taken over by Regions Bank.

Murphy and seven others with Integrity are the target of a $70 million FDIC lawsuit over the bank’s failure.

He and three other former directors have denied the FDIC’s accusations of negligence, gross negligence and breach of fiduciary duties resulting in the bank’s closing.

Instead, in a legal response to the charges, they argue that evidence will show it was the FDIC’s "lax oversight and arbitrary demands" that caused the bank to fail.

Murphy was also sued by Nexity Bank and Silverton Bank with claims he owed both institutions money backed with Integrity Bank collateral.

Because it failed in 2009, the Silverton Bank suit was taken over by the FDIC.

In October, Murphy used a quit-claim deed to transfer the Tribble Gap Road property to Lucy Mae Investments.

Murphy said the limited liability company is a business partnership of which he’s a member.

Seeing the property listed as a foreclosure came as "a complete surprise to me," Murphy said.

He also noted he took action three months ago with MultiBank 2009-1 CRE Venture LLC, which has taken over the loan on the Tribble Gap property from Regions Bank

"All I know is we were trying to work out something with [the] company," Murphy said.

"We sent them a letter about three months ago and said, ‘Look, the property was for sale.’"

Murphy never received a response, but said he plans to take steps to prevent the property from being sold on the courthouse steps July 5.

"We have made contact with the folks that have this and the attorneys are trying to get it worked out," he said. "I think it will probably get worked out and probably won’t go into foreclosure, but that’s up to them."