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Published: 7/22/2011 - Updated: 2 years ago

Fifth Third claims developer Dillin owes it $4.1M

Bank says developer defaulted on Levis Town Square credit

BY SHEENA HARRISON
BLADE BUSINESS WRITER
Fifth Third Bank is seeking $4.1 million from developer Larry Dillin  in connection with a loan for part of the Levis Commons site. Fifth Third Bank is seeking $4.1 million from developer Larry Dillin in connection with a loan for part of the Levis Commons site.
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Developer Larry Dillin is facing more financial trouble after Fifth Third Bank requested a monetary judgment this week against one of his Levis Commons properties in Perrysburg.

Fifth Third filed a complaint in Wood County Common Pleas Court seeking cognovit judgment of more than $4.1 million against Levis Town Square Land LLC, which is operated by Mr. Dillin. Cognovit agreements allow creditors to receive expedited court judgment on commercial debts owed to them without having to dispute the debt in court.

This affects only a portion of the Levis Commons development, which includes retail, housing, and office space off State Rt. 25 near the U.S. 23/I-475 exit. The property in dispute includes the Orleans building near the Hilton Garden Inn hotel on the development's west side.

The debt is based on about $4 million withdrawn last year on a nearly $12.9 million letter of credit issued by Fifth Third in 2007, as well as interest and fees, according to the bank's court filing. Fifth Third says Levis Town Square Land defaulted on the credit line after it failed to make timely payments last year.

Levis entered into an agreement with the bank in June, 2010, and had agreed to pay the credit debt by last month. However, Fifth Third contends that the company defaulted last month.

Larry Dillin Larry Dillin
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Mr. Dillin said he does not dispute the debt, which was used in part to pay down bonds used to pay for street improvements and other infrastructure near the Orleans building. He said he is trying to work with Fifth Third on a potential settlement.

"We have a plan that we're working on, and unfortunately we're not in a position to talk about it yet," Mr. Dillin said.

An attorney for Fifth Third Bank did not return calls Thursday.

The default is the latest in a string of difficulties for Mr. Dillin. Last fall, he defaulted on a $12.4 million loan from Huntington National Bank.

Foreclosure proceedings for the Huntington loan, which paid for construction of the 60,000-square-foot Orleans building, are still under way in Wood County Common Pleas Court, Mr. Dillin said.

The Huntington default was tied to $1.08 million in delinquent and other taxes owed to Wood County by Mr. Dillin last year.

He paid a third of that debt a year ago and agreed to a five-year payment plan for the rest.

Wood County Treasurer Jill Engle said Thursday that Mr. Dillin defaulted on the tax payment contract. Various entities controlled by Mr. Dillin owe more than $1.7 million in taxes to the county, including unpaid debt from last year and taxes that have accrued since then, according to Wood County records.

Contact Sheena Harrison at: sharrison@theblade.com or 419-724-6103.



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