Business Digest

Article excerpt

Local foreclosures dip - The home foreclosure rate in St. Louis continues to slip downward. As of July, 1.55 percent of local homes were in the process of foreclosure compared with 1.64 percent a year earlier, according to figures released Tuesday by real estate analysis firm CoreLogic. That was the third straight month of decline, and the lowest figure since August 2010. Meanwhile, in July, 4.51 percent of home mortgages in the St. Louis area were 90 days behind in payments, down from 5.02 percent at the start of the year and 4.71 percent a year earlier. (Jim Gallagher)

T.R. Hughes decision reversed - The Missouri Court of Appeals has reversed a lower court's summary judgments in favor of Frontenac Bank stemming from a lawsuit the bank filed against home builder T.R. Hughes Inc. In Frontenac Bank's lawsuit filed in December 2009, the Earth City-based bank alleged home builder T.R. Hughes Inc., its owner, Thomas R. Hughes, and a related firm, Summit Pointe LC, defaulted on loans for two local real estate projects. Three properties secured by the loans were ultimately foreclosed on by the bank. In its opinion handed down Tuesday, the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, ruled that a circuit court erred in entering a summary judgment in favor of Frontenac Bank for about $8 million. In its reversal, the appellate court said genuine disputes of material fact existed in the lawsuit and remanded the case back to the lower court. "We're pleased with the court's decision and look forward to litigating these claims again in the trial court," said Thom Avery, an attorney with law firm Blitz, Bardgett & Deutsch who is representing T.R. Hughes and the other defendants. The appellate court also affirmed the lower court's decision that personal guarantees on the loans signed by Carolyn Hughes, Thomas Hughes' wife, were null and void, relying on a Missouri Court decision on spousal guarantees, Boone National Savings and Loan Assoc. v. Crouch. St. Charles-based T.R. Hughes Inc. was among the largest home builders based in the St. Louis region in 2005. By 2007, however, hundreds of the company's residential lots were either sold or foreclosed on by the home builders' lenders. An attorney representing Frontenac Bank could not be reached for comment.

MEMC, Conergy end deal - MEMC Electronic Materials Inc. said it has agreed to end a long-term solar wafer supply agreement with Conergy AG, a German solar company. …