The Hobe Sound home of Burt Reynolds faces foreclosure

Lawsuit seeks to collect about $1.2 million

HOBE SOUND — Veteran actor Burt Reynolds, a longtime Hobe Sound resident, is facing a foreclosure lawsuit that seeks to collect about $1.2 million for a mortgage on his nearly 4-acre Indian Hills estate on the Intracoastal Waterway.

A lawsuit filed in Martin County Circuit Court by Merrill Lynch Credit Corp. against Reynolds, BankAtlantic and Great Eastern Mortgage, contends the Emmy Award-winning actor has not made a mortgage payment since Sept. 1, 2010, on the home in the 16000 block of South Federal Highway, Hobe Sound.

"No subsequent payments have been made," noted the lawsuit, filed by attorneys with the Tampa-based Florida Default Law Group P.L. "Plaintiff must be paid $1,193,808 in principal on the mortgage note and mortgage, together with interest from Aug. 1, 2010, and all costs ... and reasonable attorney's fees."

Merrill Lynch is asking a judge to order the home sold to satisfy all debts, and for a receiver to be appointed to the case, according to the suit.

BankAtlantic, according to the complaint, holds a second $750,000 mortgage on the Mediterranean-style home, which currently is valued at $2.4 million, records with the Martin County Property Appraiser's Office show.

It's unclear from court records how much might be owed to co-defendant Great Eastern Mortgage,

Reynolds, 75, could not be reached Monday, and an email sent to his publicist, Erik Kritzer, was not immediately returned.

Records show Reynolds and his former wife Loni Anderson signed papers in May 1994 to obtain a $1.5 million mortgage from Merrill Lynch Credit Corp., for the home that called for the loan to be paid off by 2019.

In 2009, Reynolds listed the 12,500-square-foot house, dubbed "Valhalla," for sale for $8.9 million, he told the Stuart News.

At that time, Reynolds said he planned to sell the house, but noted that the economy was making it a tough time to market the home.

"Every evening when I walk my dog down to the gate on U.S. 1 and back to the house, I think, 'Am I crazy?'" the Oscar-nominated Reynolds told the News. "This is paradise, so why would I want to sell it? Thankfully I don't have to push it until the market gets better."

Records filed by Merrill Lynch attorneys show the Hobe Sound home is not Reynolds' homesteaded residence.

On May 6, a notice of pending foreclosure litigation was sent to Reynolds' home in Little Rock, Ark., indicating he owed more than $1.2 million.

The summons for the lawsuit was also addressed to his Little Rock home, records show.

It's unclear how much time Reynolds has been spending lately at his waterfront mansion.

In May, Reynolds traveled to Toronto, according to the News, to begin shooting a new film with country music star LeAnn Rimes. That's the same month the town of Jupiter issued its support for moving the Jupiter-based Burt Reynolds Museum and Burt Reynolds Institute of Film and Theatre to a new site, at the 35.5-acre park named after him.

That plan was approved in June by the Palm Beach County Commission, which voted to lease a parcel of land in Burt Reynolds Park to build the Burt Reynolds Museum and Burt Reynolds Institute for Film and Theatre.

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