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Jackson's loans sold to New York firm

Singer, $270 million in debt, could lose his song rights
/ Source: NBC News

Michael Jackson's shifting finances have pushed the pop star one step closer to losing the rights to his publishing catalog of songs.

The Bank of America has sold two loans it made to Michael Jackson for a reported total of $270 miilion to a New York investment fund, NBC News confirmed Thursday.

If Jackson defaults on the loans, his Neverland ranch and his stakes in music catalogs that include hit Beatles tunes and his own invaluable compositions could be seized. 

Jackson backed the original loans using copyrights held by Mijac, the company that holds the rights to his songs, as well as his stake in Sony/ATV Music, which holds copyrights on many Beatles' tunes, and the deed on Neverland, his 2,600-acre estate in the hills outside Santa Barbara.

The fund, Fortress Investments, had no comment on the transaction. But one source close to Jackson said the transaction could have serious implications for the singer.

Fortress, which is said to specialize in higher-risk investments, stands to take control of Jackson's song rights and other assets should he default on the loans.  The singer has used money from the loans to manage his cashflow and regular expenses.