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Bank buys Jake Files’ property in foreclosure sale for $2.1 million in defaulted loans

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  • SEN. JAKE FILES: Home sold at foreclosure sale.

Dave Hughes of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that the First Western Bank of Booneville bought three properties of Sen. Jake Files, including his Fort Smith home, on Free Ferry Landing, at foreclosure sales today to satisfy unpaid loans of $2.1 million. The bank bid $2.048 million, Hughes reported.

Files potentially faces bigger problems related to how tax money sent his way to build a local sports complex was spent. The FBI has been investigating. Files is not seeking re-election.

The Booneville bank won priority on the properties against a long list of people seeking money from Files, including other banks, the Arkansas Development Finance Authority and firms that had done business with Files’ construction company. Files also was on the losing end of a $1.8 million foreclosure judgment in an apartment project.

Article source: https://www.arktimes.com/ArkansasBlog/archives/2017/12/28/bank-buys-jake-files-property-in-foreclosure-sale-for-21-million-in-defaulted-loans

Keene shopping plazas up for sale at foreclosure auctions

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Article source: http://www.sentinelsource.com/news/local/keene-shopping-plazas-up-for-sale-at-foreclosure-auctions/article_a476dee4-4272-5cd2-bda2-a172c71d1d4c.html

Investor sentenced to jail for bid rigging

A judgement has been made in the case of a Forsyth County real estate investor who was indicted in 2016 for a bid rigging conspiracy at foreclosure auctions during the housing crisis.

Douglas L. Purdy was recently sentenced to 16 months in jail by U.S. District Judge Richard W. Story for bid rigging conspiracy and two counts of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, according to court documents from Dec. 21.

An indictment from February 2016 alleges that between July 2008 and December 2011, Purdy and alleged co-conspirators entered into a plan to rig foreclosure auctions in Alpharetta, Cumming and Gainesville, to “suppress and restrain competition” and purchase foreclosure properties at artificially suppressed prices. 

The indictment said that Purdy and alleged co-conspirators: “agreed not to compete, or to stop competing, against each other on the purchase of selected properties,” that they “designated which conspirator would bid for selected properties,” and “purchased selected properties at public foreclosure auctions at prices they artificially suppressed.”  

In court documents filed June 16, 2017, a jury found Purdy guilty of entering into a conspiracy to commit bid rigging as was alleged in the indictment.  

Purdy was also accused of six counts of bank fraud in the indictment for his alleged part in the sale of five properties in Alpharetta, Cumming and Gainesville. 

The indictment said that Purdy and others “did knowingly execute and attempt to execute a scheme and artifice to defraud financial institutions … to obtain moneys, funds, credits, assets, securities, and other property owned by, and under the custody and control of such financial institutions, by means of materially false or fraudulent pretenses, representations and promises.”

The indictment also alleges that during the conspiracy Purdy and others made payoffs to and from each other, “diverting money that otherwise would have gone to the foreclosing financial institutions, other lienholders and homeowners.”

Purdy was found guilty in two of those charges, for the auction of properties in Cumming and Gainesville in 2009 and 2010.

In addition to his jail sentence, Purdy and his alleged co-conspirators will also pay $100,979.86 to the eight financial institutions affected from 2008 to 2011.

Purdy will also serve 36 months of supervised release at the end of his sentence and will pay a $1,000 fine.  

Attempts to reach the attorney for Purdy were unsuccessful as of press time.

Article source: https://www.forsythnews.com/local/crime-courts/investor-sentenced-jail-bid-rigging/

Real estate investor sentenced for rigging bids on foreclosed properties

A Forsyth County real estate investor convicted in June of rigging foreclosure auctions during the housing crisis was recently sentenced to 16 months in jail.

Douglas L. Purdy was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Richard W. Story for bid rigging conspiracy and two counts of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, according to court documents dated Dec. 21.

Between July 2008 and December 2011, Purdy and alleged co-conspirators entered into a plan to rig foreclosure auctions in Gainesville, Cumming and Alpharetta to “suppress and restrain competition,” according to Purdy’s February 2016 indictment.

Attempts to reach Purdy’s attorney were unsuccessful as of press time.

The indictment stated Purdy and co-conspirators “agreed not to compete, or to stop competing, against each other on the purchase of selected properties,” that they “designated which conspirator would bid for selected properties,” and “purchased selected properties at public foreclosure auctions at prices they artificially suppressed.”  

A jury found Purdy guilty of entering into a conspiracy to commit bid rigging, according to court documents filed June 16, 2017.  

Purdy also was accused of six counts of bank fraud in the indictment for his alleged part in the sale of five properties in Gainesville, Cumming and Alpharetta.

During the conspiracy, Purdy and others made payoffs to and from each other, “diverting money that otherwise would have gone to the foreclosing financial institutions, other lienholders and homeowners,” according to the indictment.

Purdy was found guilty on two of those charges, for the auction of properties in Gainesville and Cumming in 2009 and 2010.

In addition to his jail sentence, Purdy and his co-conspirators were ordered to pay $100,979.86 to the eight financial institutions affected from 2008 to 2011.

Purdy will also serve 36 months of supervised release at the end of his sentence and will pay a $1,000 fine.  

Article source: https://www.gainesvilletimes.com/news/real-estate-investor-sentenced-rigging-bids-foreclosed-properties/

Helping Borrowers Understand Foreclosure Prevention Options

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released the Homeowners Guide to Success on Wednesday to provide homeowners with information on the critical first steps to take if they are at risk of missing a mortgage payment or facing foreclosure. These steps include asking homeowners to speak to their servicers to explore mortgage assistance options.

“This guide arms consumers with easy to understand, reliable information about the assistance available to help them keep their homes. Valuable information like this can make a tremendous difference in the lives of homeowners who may be faced with foreclosure,” HUD Secretary Ben Carson said.

The guide addresses issues like what happens if a payment is late and also touches upon some mortgage assistance solutions provided by servicers to help homeowners avoid foreclosures. It provides homeowners with details on how plans like repayment, modification, short sale and deed in lieu of foreclosure work when they partner with a servicer and which plan could be most suitable for them.

This guide ensures homeowners have resources at their fingertips and are ready and responsible for the next steps. It also covers the value of HUD-approved housing counseling agencies that offer free assistance to help homeowners find housing counselors to avoid foreclosure.

Families recovering from the recent hurricanes maybe more likely to be targeted by scams and the guide can prove to be a handy resource for such homeowners to reach out to servicers or HUD-approved housing counselor who can assist them through the process of purchasing or keeping a home.

“Steering consumers away from fraudulent schemes is especially important when they are already facing the difficult situation of not being able to make their mortgage payment,” Sarah Gerecke, Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Housing Counseling at HUD said.

This guide was released as part of a public-private partnership between HUD, Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Agriculture, the Treasury Department, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Federal Housing Finance Agency, MBA, and housing counseling agencies. The guide will be available on federal agency and industry partner websites.

To view the guide click here.

Article source: http://www.dsnews.com/daily-dose/12-20-2017/helping-borrowers-understand-foreclosure-prevention-options

This is Tampa Bay’s priciest foreclosure, and its history is as twisted as its boardwalk



TIERRA VERDE — Behind a tall iron fence lies one of the most unusual gated communities in Tampa Bay. And within that lies the most expensive and unusual bank-owned house for sale between Crystal River and Sarasota.

The community is called Green Land Preserve. It is on a small peninsula, thick with mangroves, that juts into the bay from the road to Fort De Soto Park. The preserve has only four houses, including the $1.59 million foreclosure that agent Lambdin Freeman was showing a few days before Christmas.

“It’s going to take that special buyer,” Freeman said. “Somebody who wants privacy, who doesn’t want anybody on top of them.”

Freeman is handling the sale for Regions. The bank had the house repainted and re-carpeted, and she paid to stage it. Outside, workers cleared away just enough of the overgrowth to offer a tantalizing glimpse of water.

“You should have seen it before,” Freeman said. “We took out a lot of stuff but some people like it more full looking so we didn’t to take out too much.”

Freeman then led the way down a very long, private boardwalk that ends at a secluded inlet. Other boardwalks, maintained by the condo association for the exclusive use of Green Land residents, wend through the mangrove forest until they suddenly open onto sweeping views of the Sunshine Skyway and mullet jumping in the bay.

It took Regions nearly four years to get possession of the house, one of the last vestiges of a foreclosure crisis that wracked neighborhoods rich and poor. And it was a foreclosure with its own unusual twist.

RELATED COVERAGE: Good news: Tampa Bay no longer a major foreclosure capital of the country

At the peak of the boom in 2006, a Tampa couple, Stuart and Shawn Suddath, bought the two-story house for $1.6 million. They apparently never lived there — they didn’t have a homestead exemption and they put the house back on the market barely a year later for $2.695 million. By that time, property values were starting their disastrous slide and it was not until 2011 that the couple finally got a short-sale contract — for $995,000. Even at that price, the deal fell through.

Their moving business doomed by the recession, the couple declared bankruptcy in 2012. They agreed to give up the house, and the bankruptcy trustee handling their case sought bids on the property. A Tampa company won a quitclaim deed with a $8,500 bid — the house was heavily mortgaged, hence the low price. That company then deeded the house for $20,000 to Locations of Pinellas, Inc. and its president, Samuel Ballinger.

Ballinger had also run into trouble, though not because of the recession.

In 2007, the Drug Enforcement Administration had revoked the registration of a Tampa pharmacy he owned, United Prescription Services. The DEA said the pharmacy had violated federal law by distributing large quantities of controlled substances — including the painkiller hydrocodone — based on prescriptions that it “knew or should have known” were not written for legitimate medical purposes or that were written by a physician not acting in the usual course of practice.

In filling the prescriptions, many of them ordered via the internet, Ballinger’s pharmacy “constituted an imminent danger to the public health and safety,” the DEA said.

Now, five years later, Ballinger had a quitclaim deed that give him possession of a million-dollar home though the Suddaths were still responsible for the mortgage. He sued to evict Stuart Suddath’s parents, who had recently moved in and made some repairs. After Ballinger showed up with a deputy sheriff, they left and the suit was dropped.

During his time in Green Land Preserve, Ballinger did little to endear himself to his new neighbors.

“He would never use a garbage can,” said Howard Isaacs, president of the condominium association. “For four years , he would dump his garbage in brown bags. He wouldn’t use the plastic bags I bought him twice. He just did everything he could to annoy us.”

In 2013, Regions listed Ballinger as a tenant and defendant when it began foreclosing. He hired an attorney to fight the action but as the clock began ticking toward a trial date, he declared bankruptcy in 2016, a move that automatically “stays” or halts foreclosure proceedings.

Two months later, a judge lifted the stay, and Regions resumed its case in state court. By this time, only Ballinger was opposing foreclosure — the borrower, Suddath, had said in an affidavit that he and his wife wanted to “put this matter behind us and begin to repair our credit.” (He did not return a call for comment but records show the couple has a new moving business with good reviews.)

In a motion last May, an attorney for Regions alleged that Ballinger also tried to stall the foreclosure by getting a doctor to say he was ill and should avoid court hearings because of the stress. The doctor turned out to be one of Ballinger’s business associates, the motion said.

Ballinger and his company “have no legitimate purpose in delaying this foreclosure,” the motion said. “They are not paying the mortgage or the taxes or the insurance on the subject property.”

The bank obtained a final judgment of foreclosure in May but it looked like the auction would be delayed too after Ballinger filed a notice of appeal. He didn’t pay the required fee, and Regions finally took possession of the house on June 19.

Ballinger, a 63-year-old veteran who says he had a stroke and is living on Social Security and VA disability payments, denies he declared bankruptcy to stop the foreclosure. He did it, he said in an email, because “I had no money.”

(His bankruptcy case is pending; the trustee has alleged that he has failed to cooperate and tried to hide assets.)

Once the house was vacant, Regions spent three months getting it in shape. The agent, Freeman, listed it in early October: There have been showings but no offers so far.

Freeman, who has handled numerous foreclosure for the bank, said she knew nothing about the home’s tortuous history — or that of any other property. That’s fine with her.

“By the time they get to us,” she said, “everything has been taken care of.”

Contact Susan Taylor Martin at [email protected] or (727) 893-8642. Follow @susanskate

Article source: http://www.tampabay.com/news/business/realestate/This-is-Tampa-Bay-s-priciest-foreclosure-and-its-history-is-as-twisted-as-its-boardwalk_163962427

This is Tampa Bay’s priciest foreclosure, and its history is as twisted …



TIERRA VERDE — Behind a tall iron fence lies one of the most unusual gated communities in Tampa Bay. And within that lies the most expensive and unusual bank-owned house for sale between Crystal River and Sarasota.

The community is called Green Land Preserve. It is on a small peninsula, thick with mangroves, that juts into the bay from the road to Fort De Soto Park. The preserve has only four houses, including the $1.59 million foreclosure that agent Lambdin Freeman was showing a few days before Christmas.

“It’s going to take that special buyer,” Freeman said. “Somebody who wants privacy, who doesn’t want anybody on top of them.”

Freeman is handling the sale for Regions. The bank had the house repainted and re-carpeted, and she paid to stage it. Outside, workers cleared away just enough of the overgrowth to offer a tantalizing glimpse of water.

“You should have seen it before,” Freeman said. “We took out a lot of stuff but some people like it more full looking so we didn’t to take out too much.”

Freeman then led the way down a very long, private boardwalk that ends at a secluded inlet. Other boardwalks, maintained by the condo association for the exclusive use of Green Land residents, wend through the mangrove forest until they suddenly open onto sweeping views of the Sunshine Skyway and mullet jumping in the bay.

It took Regions nearly four years to get possession of the house, one of the last vestiges of a foreclosure crisis that wracked neighborhoods rich and poor. And it was a foreclosure with its own unusual twist.

RELATED COVERAGE: Good news: Tampa Bay no longer a major foreclosure capital of the country

At the peak of the boom in 2006, a Tampa couple, Stuart and Shawn Suddath, bought the two-story house for $1.6 million. They apparently never lived there — they didn’t have a homestead exemption and they put the house back on the market barely a year later for $2.695 million. By that time, property values were starting their disastrous slide and it was not until 2011 that the couple finally got a short-sale contract — for $995,000. Even at that price, the deal fell through.

Their moving business doomed by the recession, the couple declared bankruptcy in 2012. They agreed to give up the house, and the bankruptcy trustee handling their case sought bids on the property. A Tampa company won a quitclaim deed with a $8,500 bid — the house was heavily mortgaged, hence the low price. That company then deeded the house for $20,000 to Locations of Pinellas, Inc. and its president, Samuel Ballinger.

Ballinger had also run into trouble, though not because of the recession.

In 2007, the Drug Enforcement Administration had revoked the registration of a Tampa pharmacy he owned, United Prescription Services. The DEA said the pharmacy had violated federal law by distributing large quantities of controlled substances — including the painkiller hydrocodone — based on prescriptions that it “knew or should have known” were not written for legitimate medical purposes or that were written by a physician not acting in the usual course of practice.

In filling the prescriptions, many of them ordered via the internet, Ballinger’s pharmacy “constituted an imminent danger to the public health and safety,” the DEA said.

Now, five years later, Ballinger had a quitclaim deed that give him possession of a million-dollar home though the Suddaths were still responsible for the mortgage. He sued to evict Stuart Suddath’s parents, who had recently moved in and made some repairs. After Ballinger showed up with a deputy sheriff, they left and the suit was dropped.

During his time in Green Land Preserve, Ballinger did little to endear himself to his new neighbors.

“He would never use a garbage can,” said Howard Isaacs, president of the condominium association. “For four years , he would dump his garbage in brown bags. He wouldn’t use the plastic bags I bought him twice. He just did everything he could to annoy us.”

In 2013, Regions listed Ballinger as a tenant and defendant when it began foreclosing. He hired an attorney to fight the action but as the clock began ticking toward a trial date, he declared bankruptcy in 2016, a move that automatically “stays” or halts foreclosure proceedings.

Two months later, a judge lifted the stay, and Regions resumed its case in state court. By this time, only Ballinger was opposing foreclosure — the borrower, Suddath, had said in an affidavit that he and his wife wanted to “put this matter behind us and begin to repair our credit.” (He did not return a call for comment but records show the couple has a new moving business with good reviews.)

In a motion last May, an attorney for Regions alleged that Ballinger also tried to stall the foreclosure by getting a doctor to say he was ill and should avoid court hearings because of the stress. The doctor turned out to be one of Ballinger’s business associates, the motion said.

Ballinger and his company “have no legitimate purpose in delaying this foreclosure,” the motion said. “They are not paying the mortgage or the taxes or the insurance on the subject property.”

The bank obtained a final judgment of foreclosure in May but it looked like the auction would be delayed too after Ballinger filed a notice of appeal. He didn’t pay the required fee, and Regions finally took possession of the house on June 19.

Ballinger, a 63-year-old veteran who says he had a stroke and is living on Social Security and VA disability payments, denies he declared bankruptcy to stop the foreclosure. He did it, he said in an email, because “I had no money.”

(His bankruptcy case is pending; the trustee has alleged that he has failed to cooperate and tried to hide assets.)

Once the house was vacant, Regions spent three months getting it in shape. The agent, Freeman, listed it in early October: There have been showings but no offers so far.

Freeman, who has handled numerous foreclosure for the bank, said she knew nothing about the home’s tortuous history — or that of any other property. That’s fine with her.

“By the time they get to us,” she said, “everything has been taken care of.”

Contact Susan Taylor Martin at [email protected] or (727) 893-8642. Follow @susanskate

Article source: http://www.tampabay.com/news/business/realestate/This-is-Tampa-Bay-s-priciest-foreclosure-and-its-history-is-as-twisted-as-its-boardwalk_163962427

Foreclosure rate in Minnesota lowest in a decade

The foreclosure rate in Minnesota is now at the lowest level in more than a decade, and far below the national average.

At the end of September, just 0.2 percent of all Minnesota homeowners with a mortgage lost their homes to foreclosure, according to CoreLogic, which tracks mortgage delinquencies at several intervals. That rate was down from 0.3 percent last year and was only about a third of the national average.

At the same time, far fewer homeowners are having trouble staying current on their mortgage payments. In Minnesota, 2.9 percent of all homeowners were 30 or more days late on their payment compared with 3.1 percent last year.

“We’re encouraged to see another year of flat or declining delinquency rates for homeowners across Minnesota,” said Julie Gugin, director of the Minnesota Homeownership Center. “It shows people are in the right homes for their families and their wallets.”

During the height of the foreclosure crisis, the organization’s counselors were overwhelmed by demand from homeowners who needed help avoiding foreclosure, Gugin said. Today, the need has shifted to providing unbiased information and hands-on financial coaching for low-income families that want to buy a home.

“They want to make choices based on solid and factual information,” Gugin said. “Rent prices are on the rise and homeownership is a valuable asset-building alternate for some families.”

Gugin said that while declining foreclosures are clearly a positive sign, underlying problems linger. Namely, the recession and subsequent economic recovery only broadened the homeownership gap in Minnesota. There are more low-income families than before that are unable to own a home.

“Our goal is to ensure that homeownership’s benefits are fairly available and sustainable to everyone, no matter their race or where they live,” she said. “Next year — and even 10 years from now — we want the delinquency rate to stay low, and with a closed homeownership gap. Individuals and families, communities and our state would be better off as a result.”

Foreclosure rates across the country are also falling. Nationwide, the foreclosure rate fell slightly from 0.8 percent to 0.6 percent, and the 30-day plus delinquency rate fell from 5.2 percent last year to 5.0 percent in September. There was a slight increase, however, in the number of homeowners who were 30 to 59 days late on their payments, mostly because of hurricane-related troubles in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

Article source: http://www.startribune.com/foreclosures-mortgage-delinquencies-drop-further-in-minnesota/467000813/

NJ stops taking applications for programs offering foreclosure relief

Two New Jersey programs that provide financial assistance to homeowners on the brink of foreclosure are temporarily suspending acceptance of applications, a state official said this week, bringing an indefinite hiatus to a set of funds that have helped thousands of residents stay afloat in the aftermath of the Great Recession.

New Jersey’s HomeKeeper and HomeSaver programs, both of which are housed under the state’s federally bankrolled Hardest Hit Fund, are not taking new applications “in order to better assist the current pipeline of applicants,” Tammori Petty, director of communications for the state’s Department of Community Affairs, said in emails this week.

“The agency wants to ensure that there is enough funding to process all applications that are currently in process,” Petty said. “… No new applications are being accepted at this time.”

The decision to suspend new applications to the assistance programs comes as homeowners across New Jersey remain in the throes of the state’s foreclosure crisis. Nearly 2 percent of housing units in the state — almost 68,000 properties in total — are in some state of foreclosure, according to Attom Data Solutions, a California company that tracks foreclosures. In November alone, one out of every 737 housing units in New Jersey had foreclosure proceedings initiated against the homeowner, a rate far higher than the national average of one out of every 2,074 units.

Since September 2015, New Jersey has had either the highest or second-highest number of new foreclosure proceedings filed every month, said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president for Attom.

“That’s the bad news,” Blomquist said. “The good news is that we have seen the numbers turn a corner and start to go down. In November, the number of new foreclosure filings was down 19 percent from a year ago.”

Like elsewhere nationwide, New Jersey’s foreclosure crisis was born out of the collapse of the housing bubble in the mid-2000s. Yet a host of other problems have contributed in the Garden State, too: In 2010, the state Supreme Court issued a moratorium on foreclosure activity as accusations surfaced that foreclosure affidavits were being signed without verification of their accuracy. Meanwhile, New Jersey’s judicial foreclosure process — meaning that lenders must go to court to repossess a property — has elongated the foreclosure process. (Currently, it takes an average of 1,281 days in New Jersey, according to Attom.) Plus, the devastation of Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and the economic downturn in such places as Atlantic City exacerbated the problem, Blomquist said, creating a “perfect storm of issues.”

To help states such as New Jersey, the U.S. Treasury Department established in 2010 the Hardest Hit Fund, to provide financial assistance — $9.6 billion total — to homeowners facing foreclosure in 18 states and Washington.

To date, according to the Treasury Department, New Jersey has been allocated more than $415 million, which the state’s Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency has disbursed into three programs: nearly $315 million for the New Jersey HomeKeeper program; $30 million for the HomeSaver program; and $26 million for the HomeSeeker Down Payment Assistance Program, as well as $45 million in permitted expenses.

The current HomeKeeper program offers homeowners up to $48,000 to cover arrearages or monthly mortgage payments for up to 12 months if that homeowner experienced a hardship, such as a death in the family or job loss. The HomeSaver program, similarly, offers homeowners facing a hardship up to $50,000 to help make their mortgage payments more affordable through a refinance, recast, or modification of their home loan. And the HomeSeeker program provides $16,000 for first-time homebuyers and veterans in select counties to help with a down payment or closing costs.

The first two programs suspended acceptance of new applications Dec. 15, the latter was suspended on Aug. 31, according to the program’s website.

So far, according to Petty, two iterations of the HomeKeeper program — one that expired in 2013 when all funds were emptied, and a new version launched in 2016 — have helped nearly 7,200 families, providing nearly $282 million in aid. The HomeSaver program, meanwhile, has helped 843 families with $13.3 million.

Petty said she expected there will be at least 1,000 applications pending.

With nearly $300 million provided in foreclosure assistance, New Jersey’s Hardest Hit Fund does appear to be nearing the end of its allocated money. Even so, the management of New Jersey’s fund, as well as funds across the nation, has been scrutinized for years by the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, a Treasury Department watchdog.

In its third quarter of 2017 report, the watchdog identified New Jersey’s Hardest Hit Fund as having “significant inefficiencies.” According to data through March 31, the inspector general found that 53 percent of homeowners who sought help in New Jersey were denied — one of the highest denial rates nationwide. And an October 2015 report from the watchdog found that New Jersey homeowners applying for the HomeKeeper program had a median wait time of 188 days — more than six months — throughout the life of the program, until the second quarter of 2015. In addition, the same report showed, New Jersey homeowners had, at times, waited nearly three years for assistance from the fund. No updated wait times were provided by the inspector general.

In an email Thursday night, Petty said it now “takes the New Jersey Housing and Finance Agency between 45 to 60 days to review a fully completed application.”

Petty said the reopening of the programs’ applications process will be determined at a later date.


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Wong Potatoes Files Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Privately-held Wong Potatoes, Inc. filed for Chapter 11 protection from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the District of Oregon, case number 17-63785. The Company is led by President Daniel George Chin and represented in bankruptcy proceedings by Thomas W. Stilley of Sussman Shank.

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Wong Potatoes is a family-owned business located in Oregon’s Klamath basin. The Company has been growing, packing and shipping high quality potatoes since 1930 throughout the U.S., Mexico, Canada, and Pacific Rim countries. The Company produces 16 varieties of organic potatoes on nearly 5,000 acres.

According to documents filed with the court, “Until approximately 2014, the Debtors had a long history of profitability. In 2014, the Debtors began to experience problems in crop quality and yield, which coupled with suppressed pricing for potatoes and other crops, caused the Debtors to incur operating losses. Many of these problems continued into 2015, resulting in the Debtors being unable to make required payments on their 2014 and 2015 crop loans to FCS.”

Court-filed documents continue, “The Debtors returned to profitability in 2016, turning an operating profit of approximately $3,200,000. In 2017, the Debtors saw even better results with an anticipated operating profit of $4,138,845….When FCS was unwilling to continue the foreclosure sale to a later date, the Debtors were forced to file their Chapter 11 petitions to stop the foreclosure sale and preserve their assets for the benefit of their bankruptcy estates.”

The Company cites estimated assets and liabilities of $1 to $10 million.

Read more bankruptcy news.

Article source: https://bankruptcompanynews.com/bankruptcy-news-12-28-17/