ROCKINGHAM — The highest of the two bids made for Rockingham Speedway Thursday morning came from the company that owns the lien.
James M. Hash, a Raleigh attorney representing BK Rock Holdings, placed a $3 million credit bid during a public auction at the Richmond County Judicial Center.
According to court documents, Billy R. Silas is the manager of the Florida-based limited liability company that purchased the promissory note from Farmers and Merchants Bank on Nov. 17, 2015.
The auction was announced in a notice of foreclosure filed in Richmond County Superior Court on April 7.
Because of the cold wind and rain from a thunderstorm moving through the area, the sale was moved inside the lobby between the front desk shortly after 11 a.m.
Melodie Rinker, a paralegal from Wooten Law Firm in Raleigh, read the notice aloud before opening the bidding process. Louis E. Wooten III was named substitute trustee in documents filed with the Richmond County Register of Deeds’ office on Feb. 16.
Several members of the community, including Richmond County Chamber of Commerce President Emily Tucker and the leaders from the Hamlet Fire Department, stopped by just to see what would happen.
Assistant Chief Richard Lassiter confirmed that the department is owed money related to track operations. He added that the department is working on getting the final figure together and is in the process of trying to collect.
An initial bid of $100,000 was made at 11:12 a.m., then, after no other offers were made, Hash stepped up to announce his client’s bid.
If it turns out to be the prevailing bid, then BK Rock Holdings would own the property and net proceeds from the sale would be credited toward the debt, he said.
Documents show the original loan taken out when former driver Andy Hillenburg bought the track in 2008 was for $4.2 million at 6.875 percent interest. The loan was set up to be paid with 59 monthly payments of $32,497.85 starting Nov. 16, 2008 and being paid in full by Oct. 16, 2013.
A letter sent to Hillenburg — as well as Bryan and Kim Silas, who are listed as member/managers of Rockingham Raceway Park, LLC — by Hash on Feb. 17, shows the total owed on the October note as $4,305,593.92 and that of a July 2008 note as $617,827.44.
The amounts include principle and accrued interest, but not attorneys’ fees and costs.
According to the letter, interest was continuing to accrue on the October note at the rate of $1,225.93 per day and $179.90 per day on the July note until paid in full.
Per statute, the clock started ticking on a 10-day period for an upset bid once the bid was filed with the Richmond County Clerk of Superior Court’s Office.
“Any person may submit an upset bid,” Hash said. “It makes no difference whether the person attended today’s sale.”
An upset bid — which must exceed the sale price by a minimum of five percent — must be filed with the clerk’s office, with the bidder making a deposit of at least five percent, he said.
“Upset bids can themselves be upset, meaning that there may be successive upset bids,” Hash said. “Each upset bid starts a new 10-day period. The sale becomes ‘fixed’ once 10 days pass without a new bid being submitted.”
If, on the rare chance, the sale winds up being more than the debt and expenses — which must be approved by the clerk of court — then the remaining funds will go back to the debtor as compensation for the loss of the property, Hash said.
As it currently stands, an upset bid of $3.15 million with a $157,500 deposit must be made by May 16.
Reach William R. Toler at 910-817-2675 and follow him on Twitter @William_r_Toler.