Carolina Gardens, an assisted-living facility in Laurens, is one of six such centers in five counties named in a lawsuit filed in Horry County.
The five facilities, all named Carolina Gardens, are Laurens, Conway, Kathwood, Lexington, West Columbia and York. They are managed by an Indiana company, Priority Life Care, that is not listed in the lawsuit.
The facilities are owned by a variety of companies that all name their properties Carolina Gardens, according to a story at myrtlebeachonline.com.
Key Bank alleges that it is owed more than $65 million by more than a dozen companies named in its lawsuit. The suit stems from a $70 million loan the companies used to buy the six facilities.
The bank seeks foreclosure on the six South Carolina facilities, which would in turn allow Key Bank to find a potential buyer. The bank made additional money available to the companies in succeeding years. The banks says the owners defaulted on a June 2019 payment date.
Key Bank also asks the judge for the appointment of a receiver to help sell the care facilities, as well as manage and operate the facilities. Management would initially work in conjunction with Priority Life Care.
The foreclosure request also stipulates that if a buyer is found, the local sheriff will have the right to eject people from the property, except for its residents.
Carolina Gardens at Laurens is located at 420 W. Farley Ave.
Priority Life Care sent a letter dated January 17, signed by CEO Severine M. Petras and S.C. Regional Operations Director Christopher Gill, to reassure Carolina Gardens residents and families. It read in part:
As you may know, Key Bank currently holds the debt for the community you live in and is tied in with five other Carolina Gardens communities. The current owners at SGS have been working with the bank to come up a solution to the current bank loan debts to ensure the success of the communities going forward. SGS has been funding operations and supporting the financial needs of your community since November 2018.
Unfortunately, the bank had to file a legal document that detailed out the potential next steps should SGS and Key Bank not be able to work together for a compromise.
In the meantime, the staff and support of Priority Life Care isn’t [sic] going anywhere – we are here and will continue to be here ensuring that the staff at your Community are [sic] safe, supported and most importantly paid during this time, so that everyone’s care, services and home are not interrupted. …
… We appreciate your understanding during this time and apologize for the confusion as well as any disruption it may have caused you or your loved ones.