Thursday, March 20, 2014

World Jet: Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport’s biggest fixed-base operator faces foreclosure

World Jet, the biggest fixed-based operator at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport, has been hit with a foreclosure lawsuit.

This comes after a November raid by the Drug Enforcement Agency, the FBI and Homeland Security on World Jet investigating alleged drug shipments to South America. The company denied the allegations.

Branch Banking & Trust Co. filed a federal foreclosure lawsuit in the Southern District of Florida on March 14 against World Jet and guarantors Reginald Don Whittington Jr. and Sheri Whittington. It concerns a mortgage originated in 2003 by BankAtlantic, which was acquired by BB&T in 2012. That deal was supposed to exclude BankAtlantic’s problem loans but the World Jet loan apparently was performing at the time of the sale.

According to the complaint, World Jet owes $7.16 million in principal and $106,610 in interest. BB&T signed a forbearance agreement in September 2013 with World Jet that allowed it to hold off on payments until February 2014, but it failed to make payments at that time. The complaint also says World Jet has been delinquent on its lease payments to the City of Fort Lauderdale since September and provides letters from the city to the tenant as evidence.

Whittington, a former racecar driver, couldn’t be reached for comment.