2010 Chapter 11 Bankruptcy
As it would be with anyone, declaring bankruptcy was difficult and painful. Any success I enjoyed in my career was a result of cooperation and trust with employees, investors, lenders, and others involved in my business. I tried to avoid bankruptcy but because of certain loan arrangements could not. My bankruptcy was not the result of a lavish lifestyle or blatant mismanagement of my companies. If it was, I could have never gone to my creditors with a reorganization plan that would gain their support.
The great recession and financial collapse of 2008 created many victims. It is a matter of public record that companies that were renting my assets went bankrupt themselves and did not pay their rent. Rather than ducking responsibility, I chose to address my financial crisis head on and with candor:
- First, I acted in a timely manner, which is important in helping to avoid digging a deeper hole for creditors.
- Second, I declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Chapter 11 is a reorganizational bankruptcy as opposed to a Chapter 7 liquidation. There were numerous ownership entities in a variety of investments including real estate, aviation, service, and tech companies. All bankruptcies including mine are a matter of public record.
- Third, a reorganization plan with creditors was achieved. My reorganization plan won a 100% vote of approval by the creditors. It is very unusual to have total agreement on the part of creditors when a plan gets voted on. In fact, the bankruptcy judge described it a “minor miracle” to have 100% approval of a plan.
I’ve never made excuses for my bankruptcy, nor have I have shied away from acknowledging how personally difficult it was for everyone involved, including me. I was fortunate to have a long stretch of success driven by hard work and some good luck. With more hard work and good luck, I have come back strong. Every day, I offer thanks for the many blessings in my life and I am even more thankful to be living in America, the land of opportunity and second chance.