A Michigan-based bank has filed a federal lawsuit seeking repayment on two outstanding loans held by Live Well Financial Inc., the Chesterfield County-based mortgage lender and servicer that abruptly ceased operations earlier this month.
Flagstar Bank is demanding that Michael C. Hild, the CEO of Live Well and the guarantor on the loans, repay the bank more than $82 million in principal, interest and expenses, according to the lawsuit filed last week in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.
“Flagstar sent notice to Live Well and guarantor stating that ‘one or more events of default exist under the loan documents because borrower has commenced a liquidation of its business, which is likely to have a material adverse effect.’ Other defaults may exist,” the lawsuit said.
Live Well Financial was once a fast-growing mortgage and reverse mortgage lender and servicer that shut down on May 3 because of what it called “sudden and unexpected developments.” It laid off all of the employees working at its entire corporate headquarters in the Boulders office park in Chesterfield, including Hild.
Hild, who founded the company in April 2005, could not be reached for comment.
The amount owed to the Troy, Mich.-based bank comprises a commercial loan, in which the principal and interest owed is $69.17 million; and a warehouse loan, in which the principal and interest owed is $13.279 million, according to the lawsuit.
The commercial loan agreement was signed in March 2017 for $50 million, and subsequently amended to $70 million. That loan’s principal amount owed is $69.094 million.
The warehouse loan, which is a line of credit given to a loan originator that is collateralized by agency mortgage loans, was signed in November 2016. The company owes $13.248 million.
The bank, a unit of Flagstar Bancorp Inc., said it accelerated and demanded payment in full of the obligations on May 10. “Despite demand, Live Well and guarantor have failed to repay the obligations,” the lawsuit said.
A Flagstar spokeswoman said the bank didn’t have a comment.
Flagstar had said in a May 10 filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that a borrower owes the bank $74 million, but it didn’t name the borrower then. The bank said it planned to “pursue all available sources of collection, including other assets of the company, a personal guarantee and other legal remedies to minimize our credit exposure related to this loan,” the regulatory filing said.
Flagstar has $19.4 billion in total assets and 160 branches in five states.
It is unclear what developments took place that forced Live Well Financial to shut down, and the Flagstar lawsuit didn’t shed any additional light on the situation.
Live Well Financial said in a letter to Virginia employment officials that it was ceasing operations and laying off its 103 employees who worked at the company’s corporate offices.
“Due to sudden and unexpected developments in the markets for certain financial assets the company uses as collateral for certain credit facilities that provide this liquidity, these lenders have reduced significantly the amount of liquidity they make available to the company,” the letter said.
“This reduction in credit availability combined with challenging conditions in the markets for mortgage loans, which were conditions outside of the company’s control, along with related regulatory issues, have resulted in the company having insufficient available cash to continue operations.”
While Hild ran Live Well Financial, he and his wife, Laura Dyer Hild, amassed nearly three dozen properties in Richmond’s Manchester, Blackwell and Swansboro neighborhoods in recent years with plans of redeveloping them.
Through their Church Hill Ventures LLC, the couple have opened Hot Diggity Donuts and The Butterbean Market & Café, both on Hull Street. In the same block is their Dogtown Brewing Co. brewery and restaurant set to open this year.
Hild also owns Anderson’s Neck Oysters, an oyster farm along the York River in King and Queen County.