Monday, June 1, 2009

J.O. Clark Building Group in Tennessee Files Bankruptcy

Clark's company has built more than 1,000 homes in the mid-state. But the I-Team found dozens of liens from subcontractors who said they weren't paid as Clark's empire grew. Liens were passed on to stunned homeowners.

"I was just in shock," said homeowner Lynn Thomas. "(I) kind of went into a panic."
A filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reads that J.O. Clark Building Group owes millions to creditors, ranging from several subcontractors to banks.

Chapter 11 means Clark wants to rearrange his debts in an attempt to stay in business.
"Ordinarily, a company that has an operating business wants to use Chapter 11 in order to be able to have some time to prepare a plan to pay back its creditors," said Marc McNamee, a bankruptcy attorney.

According to the bankruptcy filing, Clark owes the most to subcontractors, ranging from carpet companies to excavators.

Regions Bank is owed more than $50,000. Walter Plumbing is owed close to $100,000. But bankruptcy specialists said how much J.O. Clark owes and how much it has in assets must be examined, and that's where there may be a problem. The bankruptcy filing shows $10 million to $50 million is owed. The company has less than $50,000 in assets.

"It does not present a very good picture or prospect for repayment," said McNamee. "The critical point is whether the company can continue to operate."
Experts said Clarks will have to liquidate his assets and spread out what's left if he can't settle his debts.

Neither Clark nor his attorney returned calls for comment.
In an earlier investigation, Clark said, "We are struggling, as many building companies are today."

No comments: