• Sbarro Pizza Chain Files Plan to Restructure and Exit Bankruptcy

    Sbarro Inc has proposed a restructuring plan that would give ownership of the chain to senior lenders. The pizza restaurant chain entered bankruptcy in early 2011.

    The plan would reduce its debt by 73 percent, or $295 million, and convert senior debt to equity, Sbarro said in a statement. The plan requires court approval to be put into action.

    “The plan gives us a clear path to emerge from the bankruptcy process with significantly reduced debt and increased financial flexibility and liquidity,” Nicholas McGrane, interim president and chief executive officer, said in the statement.

    Sbarro owns and franchises over 1,000 fast-food Italian restaurants around the world. The Sbarro family started out with a single Italian delicatessen over 50 years ago in Brooklyn, New York. The first mall location opened about a decade later.

    The company filed for bankruptcy in April, blaming reduced customer traffic at malls and increased competition from food courts. Most of the stores are located in indoor malls.

    Sbarro said it intends to hold an auction to allow bidders to make rival offers. The company said it is in talks “with a number of interested parties” that may submit competing proposals.

    Bankruptcy is an excellent tool for businesses and individuals alike to regain control of their financial situation. The process enables people to take a financial load off their shoulders and move on with their life. If bankruptcy looks like it’s in your sights, do it now. The sooner you reach discharge, the sooner you can rebuild your financial life.

    Benjamin Brand Services – Chicago bankruptcy attorney

  • Two South Loop Condo Projects on the Brink of Foreclosure

    The battered South Loop residential real estate market is taking another hit as Amalgamated Bank sues to foreclose on a condo project.

    Amalgamated Bank, a union-owned lender, is moving to foreclose on the $50-million construction loan it issued for the 180-unit Terazzio project at 1935 S. Wabash Avenue. The New York-based bank filed a foreclosure suit in May, following up with a separate complaint in June against ventures of Sedgwick Properties Development Corp. and Sedgwick’s Marty Paris. The lawsuit says Paris personally guaranteed the loan.

    The bank is seeking $45.7 million, which includes $1.54 million in late charges and accrued interest on the loan. The suit says the Sedgwick venture first defaulted on the loan in July 2010 when it stopped making monthly debt payments. The Terrazio is being converted into apartments.

    A separate foreclosure lawsuit has been filed by an Amalgamated venture against Sedgwick’s Marquee condo tower, completed in 2008 at 1454 S. Michigan Ave. The suit says the project’s $60 million construction loan, initiated in 2005, wasn’t fully paid off when it came due on December 2010. The bank’s suit seeks $4.17 million and also alleges that Paris personally guaranteed the debt.

    No one, not even large corporations, are immune from issues such as foreclosure. All it takes is one hiccup in the income to start down the slope to a bank filing a lawsuit. Legal remedies are available to individuals and corporations alike to salvage what is left of their finances. The key is to utilize them before it’s too late.

    Benjamin Brand Services – Chicago foreclosure attorney