The holder of mortgage debt on Grammy-winning singer Toni Braxton’s home won bankruptcy court approval to launch foreclosure proceedings against the Georgia property.
Court papers show that Judge Barry Russell of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Los Angeles on Friday lifted the shield protecting Braxton, who filed for Chapter 7 liquidation in September, from the reach of US Bank.
As Bankruptcy Beat previously reported, the bank – which represents the holder of Braxton’s mortgage debt – had argued for the right to launch foreclosure proceedings on the grounds that Braxton doesn’t have any equity in the Duluth, Ga., property nor is the mortgage holder’s interest in the property adequately protected. (Braxton herself doesn’t own the property; a trust does.) As of Nov. 23, US Bank said Braxton owes the full $1.5 million on her mortgage, while the property itself been appraised at $1.2 million.
Braxton took out the mortgage from Wells Fargo Bank in 2004, and the lender later transferred its interest in the debt to a trust set up to administer a pool of mortgages for investors in those securities.
Braxton had earlier told the bankruptcy court of her intention to remain in her single-family residence, part of the Sugarloaf Country Club community. But David Gill, the bankruptcy trustee appointed to liquidate Braxton’s assets, said last month that he would abandon the property. In court papers, Gill acknowledged the lack of “realizable equity” for the singer’s creditors and its “inconsequential value and benefit” to Braxton’s estate.
Meanwhile, the singer behind such hits as “Un-Break My Heart” and “You’re Makin’ Me High” is gearing up for the premiere this spring of a new reality show. Braxton and her four sisters, all aspiring singers, will appear in “Braxton Family Values” on the WE Network this April, as the Associated Press reported earlier this month.