FLASH STAFF REPORT
STEPHENVILLE (February 7, 2017) – Various residents came and went at the Erath County Courthouse all day Tuesday and more than 20 began standing around before noon waiting for an auction that never began.
While Lone Star Arena and Erath Iron and Metal were both on the auction block for the day, county officials said trustees from the Coleman County State Bank were not on hand to auction the items off. At approximately 3 p.m. officials received information a voluntary restraining order was in place for both properties in the Erath County District Court.
According to court documents, a restraining order voluntarily agreed to by all parties, was in place before the auction was set to begin which prevented the auction from happening so all involved parties could have more time to work towards an agreement.
Officials said while this was common in lien holder or trustee auctions, it rarely happens with tax auctions as the county is aware of the situation and potential bidders are not left wondering. The auction of both properties were trustee auctions, not tax auctions as documents state a tax auction is not currently scheduled because the owners of the property have a payment plan in place for the 2014, 2015 and 2016 taxes.
Three separate notices substitute trustee’s sale – naming an Abilene area attorney Thomas Choate as substitute trustee – were posted in January. The documents reference default loans obtained by Erath Iron & Metal Inc., from Coleman County State Bank in Abilene with original principal amounts that total several million dollars. The documents reference three pieces of property operating under the business names of Lone Star Arena and Erath Iron & Metal.
Erath Iron & Metal, the scrap metal recycling salvage yard located on US Highway 377 between Dublin and Stephenville, was set to be sold as will a piece of Dublin property located in the 200 block of West Elm Street also owned by the recycling facility.
Coleman County State Bank is the primary lien holder on the two Erath Iron & Metal scrap metal salvage and recycling properties. Meanwhile, records indicate AgTexas Farm Credit Services holds the primary lien on Lone Star Arena and a smaller loan was obtained from Coleman County State Bank in the last six months.
At the time of this report, there were no records on file in the county clerk’s office referencing AgTexas and officials at the local branch declined commenting on the issue. Currently the county has no plans to auction the properties for tax payment and have no documentation about any other planned auction involving these properties.