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Trump still in court in effort to buy Kluge home

A bank’s effort to move Donald Trump from the head of line for buyers of the Kluge mansion in Albemarle County remains alive in federal court.

U.S. District Judge Norman Moon denied Trump’s motion to dismiss the suit filed by a Bank of America affiliate. The bank disputes Trump’s claim to a right of first refusal on the 24,000-square-foot home.

Trump argued the value of his claimed right of first refusal is too speculative to meet the $75,000 minimum amount in dispute for federal court jurisdiction. Moon found otherwise.

Since the bank is trying to quiet title to the property so it can be marketed, Moon held the amount in controversy is the value of the “whole of the real estate” involved in the case, which all agreed was well in excess of $75,000.

In fact, the bank paid $15.26 million for the mansion. Trump hopes to get it for less, but no one suggests its value is below $75,000.

At a hearing Nov. 9, Moon sounded sympathetic to the bank’s problem finding willing buyers.

“If you know that someone else could come and step in and get your deal, why would you [buy] it?” Moon asked, as reported by The Daily Progress. “It seems that would deflate the price a willing buyer would pay and take a lot of buyers out of the market.”

Trial in the case is set for August 8 in Charlottesville federal court.

-By Peter Vieth

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