Dunleith on auction block after bank forecloses

Published 12:39 am Sunday, January 13, 2019


NATCHEZ — One year after Dunleith Historic Inn became entangled in its owner’s personal bankruptcy, a federal judge’s ruling last month cleared the way for a Natchez bank to foreclose.

The property will be auctioned to the highest bidder Feb. 1 on the steps of the Adams County Courthouse.

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Businessman Michael Allen Worley filed a personal bankruptcy under Chapter 11 codes on Jan. 8, 2018, citing more than $107 million in debt, with just more than $80 million in assets.

Among Worley’s assets were three Natchez businesses and associated properties including: Dunleith Historic Inn and The Castle restaurant, Bowie’s Outfitters and Bowie’s Tavern.

Bowie’s Outfitters was sold in September to Roberts and Knost Investments, an LLC formed in August. The LLC shares a Baton Rouge address with the Excel Group, an industrial construction firm, owned by David Roberts.

Bankruptcy documents indicate Worley owed Roberts $352,729.31.

The bankruptcy trustee had been working to sell Dunleith and Bowie’s Tavern.

Bowie’s Tavern was posted as collateral against loans Worley took out at United Mississippi Bank.

In September the bank petitioned the court to remove the automatic stay. A stay immediately stops a creditor’s ability to pursue recouping the more than $7.3 million Worley owed the bank. Worley had refinanced several notes into a single large note at UMB on Aug. 31, 2017, just five months before he filed bankruptcy.

In December, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Douglas Dodd ruled in favor of UMB, clearing the way for the bank to foreclose on the property.

UMB began the foreclosure process immediately, but issued the first of four public notices on the matter Friday.

Dunleith was built in 1856 and has been operated as a commercial bed and breakfast facility since 1976. Dunleith currently has 22 luxury rooms available for overnight guests and has been the venue for many weddings and large parties throughout the years.

The house, located on Homochitto Street, is among Natchez’s most recognized antebellum structures.

On Saturday the property was still listed for sale by a New Orleans real estate firm with a list price of $5.95 million.

Web link to listing: