An Arizona court issued what Trigild Corp. called a landmark decision in the company’s case to sell seven apartment complexes abandoned by The Bethany Group last year. Arizona law previously prohibited sales of property by a receivership without the lender first foreclosing on the property. Bill Hoffman, president of Trigild, said the ruling sets a precedent for increased recovery for lenders, and the San Diego-based company now plans to sell the apartment complexes for $123m. "In this case, we argued that this judge had wide discretion, and since any guarantors on the loan may have potential liability for deficiencies, the sale at a much greater price benefited them as well," Hoffman said. "The availability of financing for this sale allows us to deliver a much better recovery for the lender, in this case more than $53 million above the best 'all cash' price." The Arizona apartment complexes, which include 2,759 units, were abandoned in March 2009, leaving employees, lenders and residents in limbo. "As receiver, Trigild quickly addressed needed maintenance and repairs, restored order and ensured efficient operations -- positioning the properties for a quick and profitable sale by improving the occupancy and revenues along with resident and community support. The resulting increase in the immediate value was recognized by the court," Hoffman said. Write to Jason Philyaw.