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7th Circuit orders proposed plan of reorganization open to competitive bidding

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The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a Southern District Bankruptcy judge Thursday, finding the judge incorrectly ruled that competition was unnecessary in a plan of reorganization involving a shopping center.

George Broadbent owns 98 percent direct equity of Castleton Plaza, the debtor, and the other 2 percent indirectly. EL-SNPR is Castleton Plaza’s only secured lender. When Castleton Plaza’s note matured with EL-SNPR, it did not pay and instead commenced bankruptcy. About a year later it proposed a plan of reorganization, under which $300,000 of EL-SNPR’s $10 million secured debt would be paid now with the balance written down to around $8.2 million and treated as unsecured. One-hundred percent of equity in the reorganized Castleton Plaza would go to Mary Clare Broadbent, George’s wife, who would invest $375,000.

George Broadbent is CEO of the Broadbent Company Inc., in which Mary Clare Broadbent owns all of the equity, and he receives a salary from the company. Broadbent and Castleton Plaza would keep their management contract.

EL-SNPR, thinking Castleton Plaza’s assets have been undervalued, asked the bankruptcy judge to condition Mary Clare Broadbent’s plan acceptance on her making the highest bid in open competition. Judge Basil Lorch III held that competition is unnecessary and confirmed the plan as proposed.

“Competition helps prevent the funneling of value from lenders to insiders, no matter who proposes the plan or when. An impaired lender who objects to any plan that leaves insiders holding equity is entitled to the benefit of competition,” Chief Judge Frank Easterbrook wrote. “If, as Castleton and the Broadbents insist, their plan offers creditors the best deal, then they will prevail in the auction. But if, as EL-SNPR believes, the bankruptcy judge has underestimated the value of Castleton’s real estate, wiped out too much of the secured claim, and set the remaining loan’s terms at below-market rates, then someone will pay more than $375,000 (perhaps a lot more) for the equity in the reorganized firm.”

The case, In the matter of: Castleton Plaza LP; Appeal of: El-SNPR Notes Holdings LLC, 12-2639, is remanded with directions to open the proposed plan of reorganization to competitive bidding.

 

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  1. For many years this young man was "family" being my cousin's son. Then he decided to ignore my existence and that of my daughter who was very hurt by his actions after growing up admiring, Jason. Glad he is doing well, as for his opinion, if you care so much you wouldn't ignore the feelings of those who cared so much about you for years, Jason.

  2. Good riddance to this dangerous activist judge

  3. What is the one thing the Hoosier legal status quo hates more than a whistleblower? A lawyer whistleblower taking on the system man to man. That must never be rewarded, must always, always, always be punished, lest the whole rotten tree be felled.

  4. I want to post this to keep this tread alive and hope more of David's former clients might come forward. In my case, this coward of a man represented me from June 2014 for a couple of months before I fired him. I knew something was wrong when he blatantly lied about what he had advised me in my contentious and unfortunate divorce trial. His impact on the proceedings cast a very long shadow and continues to impact me after a lengthy 19 month divorce. I would join a class action suit.

  5. The dispute in LB Indiana regarding lake front property rights is typical of most beach communities along our Great Lakes. Simply put, communication to non owners when visiting the lakefront would be beneficial. The Great Lakes are designated navigational waters (including shorelines). The high-water mark signifies the area one is able to navigate. This means you can walk, run, skip, etc. along the shores. You can't however loiter, camp, sunbath in front of someones property. Informational signs may be helpful to owners and visitors. Our Great Lakes are a treasure that should be enjoyed by all. PS We should all be concerned that the Long Beach, Indiana community is on septic systems.

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