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Commercial bankruptcy: The best laid plans often go awry

It doesn't matter how well something is planned out, things may still go wrong. Such is the case for one man, best known for developing the Levis Commons retail, housing and entertainment complex. Originally, the forward thinking developer had plans to retire at age 53 -- but he's now 55 and on the verge of commercial bankruptcy.

Two years ago things were looking up for the developer. His services were highly sought after, and everything he touched seemed to turn to gold. Unfortunately, the real estate market and a plummeting economy came home to roost. Among a host of other financial hardships, the developer is facing a $12.1 million lien held by Huntington National Bank. Aside from that, he owes $1.57 million in back taxes.

Purportedly, the hard-pressed developer made arrangements to pay his back taxes, but the five-year repayment plan is now in arrears. As if these two outstanding notes weren't enough, the man was also recently named as a defendant in a $10.5 million loan dispute between two banks. The dispute exists to determine which bank has priority in lien that may exist on the Levis Commons property.

Aside from that, the man himself has made the statement that only two things really matter -- his relationships and his reputation. Admittedly, his reputation has suffered as a result of the financial woes that have come crashing down on him. However, he seems to be maintaining a positive attitude and a good outlook on the situation. In reference to the lending crisis, he told reporters, "While it may feel personal, I know we didn't create the environment that was in."

Sometimes people have to face facts that desperate times call for desperate measures. And for people like this developer, business bankruptcy may be the most viable option for staying afloat. Filing for bankruptcy would put a freeze on litigation against the man and may allow him the opportunity to get things in order before proceeding. Legal counsel experienced in bankruptcy laws as it pertains to commercial entities may be able to provide guidance and options toward the ultimate end of protecting financial interests.

Source: The Toledo Blade, "Dillin works to overcome burden of $28 million debt," Jon Chavez, Sept. 4, 2011

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