Marion County judge suspends Jasper Mountain foreclosure sale

photo John "Thunder" Thornton speaks about his new 9,000-acre residential development Jasper Highlands which was opening April 14, 2012.

The foreclosure of most of Jasper Mountain scheduled Tuesday was delayed by a Marion County judge who issued a stay to block the planned sale of more than 8,000 acres.

Chancellor Jeff Stewart scheduled a hearing next Monday on a legal challenge to the foreclosure by Chattanooga developer John Thornton, who bought most of the Marion County mountain with a $10.2 million loan from Chattanooga Agricultural Credit Services in 2008. Thornton's attorney, Bill Horton, challenged whether adequate notice was given for the sale.

Chattanooga Ag Credit, which became River Valley Ag Credit Services this week after merging with a Kentucky co-op, said Thornton had defaulted on his loan.