Published: Jan 11, 2013 12:36 PM EST

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - A three-judge panel says state regulators cannot intervene to protect residents of an insolvent continuing care retirement community at least for now.
    
The 1st District Court of Appeal panel ruled Friday in Tallahassee in the case of a retirement community with about 385 residents in Palm Beach Gardens.
    
It is collectively owned by Devonshire at PGA National, Chatworth at PGA National LLC and Chatworth PGA Properties LLC.
    
The panel reversed a trial judge who ruled regulators could intervene and act as a receiver after the owners defaulted on a $158.2 million mortgage loan.
    
The appellate judges ruled state intervention is barred because the lender signed an agreement promising to protect the residents' interests.
    
The panel added that the state can still step in by showing residents are not being protected.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)