DALLAS — A federal judge Wednesday denied a request by the Hunt brothers to stop a group of banks from foreclosing on Hunt properties because of defaulted loans.
U.S. District Judge Barefoot Sanders denied a request for a temporary restraining order filed by Nelson Bunker, William Herbert and Lamar Hunt, a court official said.
The denial leaves the Hunts' Placid Oil Co. and Penrod Drilling Co. facing a Friday deadline--the day when the banks can begin selling off Hunt properties in Mississippi used as collateral on loans now in default.
Assets in Texas used as collateral could be sold off beginning next Tuesday, said Keith Burton, a Hunt spokesman, but "we do not intend to let the banks dismantle Penrod and Placid."
Attorney Steve Gordon said the companies could appeal the decision, file suits in another court or put the companies under bankruptcy court protection.
"There has been no election of which course of action to take," Burton said Wednesday night.
"Clearly, timing is a matter very important at this time to Placid and Penrod," he said, referring to the banks' announcement that they will begin selling assets Friday.
Assets pledged as collateral for the $1.5 billion in loans and posted for foreclosure include oil and gas fields and mineral leases in Mississippi and Texas, Burton said.
A petroleum processing plant in Mont Belvieu, Tex.; a 286-acre tract of commercial land in Richardson, Tex., and a share of the Thanksgiving Tower skyscraper in downtown Dallas are also on the foreclosure list.
The companies' offices are located in the 50-story building.
Manufacturers Hanover Trust and RepublicBank Dallas, lead lenders in a group of banks involved in a loan dispute with the Hunts, filed papers with Sanders on Tuesday saying they intend to proceed with the foreclosures.
The Hunt brothers, their trust funds and two of their companies have filed two lawsuits that contend that the lenders conspired to control Placid and Penrod and monopolize the worldwide offshore oil drilling industry.
"Nothing the court has done changes our determination to prosecute vigorously our lawsuits and the larger issues they present," the Hunts said in a prepared statement Wednesday.
Half-brother Ray Hunt is not a part of the suit.