In oreclosure: Aiken Mall property owner owes $28M

Aiken Mall Acquisition LLC, which owns about 35 acres at Aiken Mall, has been forcelosed upon and owes approximately $28.5 million to U.S. Bank, according to Aiken County Clerk of Court records.

The total owed value includes a principal balance of about $20 million, with additional uncollected interest and late fees making up the difference.

According to Clerk of Court records, Aiken Mall Acquisitions LLC quit making payments on the interest on April 1, 2012.

The mall has been emptying out over the years with several stores closing up shop or relocating. Anchor stores include Belk, Dillard's, JCPenney, Sears and Books-A-Million.

A judge will open a bid process to purchase the property on June 3 at 11 a.m. at the Aiken County Courthouse, located at 109 Park Avenue.

U.S. Bank has a choice to seek a deficiency judgement against Aiken Mall Acquisitions LLC by that date and time. If it does not, then the highest bidder on June 3 would be awarded the property and a deed would be issued.

If it does seek a deficiency judgment, the bank would not only be foreclosing the mortgage, but also would be seeking a money judgment. Additionally, the bidding would remain open for another 30 days, ending on July 3 at 11 a.m.

The highest bidder at the first sale cannot bid again at the second sale. If no one else raises the bid at the second sale, then the property goes to the higher bidder from the original sale.

According to the S.C. Secretary of State's website, Aiken Mall Acquisition LLC is registered to W. Lindsay Smith in Greenville. A call to Smith was not returned by press time.

The sales will be conducted by open bidding. It is not necessary to pre-register. The successful bidder is required to pay 5 percent of the total bid to the Aiken County Master-In-Equity.

• Michael Ulmer covers the county government beat for the Aiken Standard and has been with the newspaper since March 2013. He is a native of North Augusta and majored in political science at the University of South Carolina.

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