Gavel to fall on three Belle Meade homes

Sites owned by former commodities firm owner, Turnberry veteran set for March foreclosure sales

A trio of recent legal notices suggests the recession continues to hit even the wealthy.

Leading the pack is the notice of foreclosure of 505 Westview Ave. The home just off Glen Eden comprises more than 9,000 square feet and is currently on the market for just shy of $2 million. Its owner is Ed Jernigan, a GOP benefactor and former owner of commodities information and consulting firm Globecot, which was acquired in 2008 by publicly traded INTL FCStone Inc. The division, which now does business as FCStone Fibers & Textiles, is still based on West End Avenue.

The trustee listed in the notice is Madison Martin of Stites & Harbison.  Attempts to reach Martin for further details on the move have been unsuccessful.

Also made public were notices for two substitute trustee sales in the Belle Meade Highlands area for what appear to be investment properties on Gilman Avenue and Don Allen Road owned by Forsythe Ventures, a company set up in late 2006 by Eric Bentley. Rialto Capital Advisors, a subsidiary of national homebuilder Lennar, owns the debt on the properties.

Bentley has in the past worked with homebuilder Turnberry Homes, which builds houses in The Governors Club in Williamson County and other local luxury home developments. He was last seen on when he sold his home on Forsythe Place to songstress Michelle Branch back in 2008. Handling these cases is Joseph R. Prochaska of Prochaska Thompson Quinn & Ferraro, who declined comment.

Jernigan's property is scheduled to hit the auction block on March 15, the Bentley sites on March 7. But Bentley doesn't see the process reaching that conclusion.

"Nothing is going to happen with that," Bentley told "I'm getting it cleared up with the lending institution."

Pressed to provide details, Bentley declined.

These are by no means the first homes in this and surrounding neighborhoods to feel the sting of the real estate downturn. Early last year, a similar fate befell a pair of spec homes built just across the street from Belle Meade Country Club.  Those homes, at 735 Jackson Blvd. and 710 Belle Meade Blvd., were sold by David G. Mangum, a trustee in foreclosure against Jerry C. & Wanda G. Harlan.

Similarly, a Hill Place mansion at 4812 Post Road changed hands in March of last year for almost $1.8 million. When the investment firm which sold the house acquired it – following the owner's bankruptcy filing – for just north of $1 million, that price represented barely a third of the amount owed on the mortgage.

As the regional and national real estate slump continues to linger, there is little hope that these will be the last such filings to find their way into the news.  What is clear however is that the financial pain is being felt across all income levels.