• Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Pops Balloon Distributor

    Money issues have deflated a Chicago balloon distributor, sending the business to file for bankruptcy . The 100-year-old balloon distributor M.K. Brody & Co. consistently turns a profit, but financial pressure from different areas took the air out of the finances.

    Property taxes for the company’s headquarters located in the Fulton Market rose 74% in 2011. The warehouse holds between five to 10 million balloons at any given time. Unexpected health-care costs for 11 full-time employees also put pressure on the finances. In addition, a Detroit competitor insisted Brody pay for royalties once paid from a company that Brody recently bought out.

    Brody filed for Chapter 11 protection, utilizing a legal remedy designed to allow reorganization without too much outside pressure. Documents filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Chicago list the company’s debts between $1 million and $10 million. Its assets are worth less than $1 million.

    The company, doing business as Brody’s 800-4-Balloons, distributes balloons to retailers who purchase stock in latex and foil styles.

    Owner Lee Kaufman pointed out that most balloon manufacturers are located in the U.S. Overseas competitors haven’t been able to compete. “They have a hard time in China making a balloon that can float,” he said.

    For many, bankruptcy is something that will never happen for a number of reasons. However, for those who are struggling with debt, bankruptcy is an excellent tool for rebuilding a life, literally. There is no more hassling with creditors, debt collectors and non-stop phone calls. Bankruptcy offers what is known as a fresh start, allowing all filers to rebuild their credit and lives.

    Benjamin Brand Services – Chicago bankruptcy attorney

  • Developer of New City YMCA Property Facing Lawsuits on Other Building Sites

    A Chicago developer with plans to develop the ex-YMCA property on Clybourn Ave. and Halsted St. is fighting foreclosure lawsuits on two nearby properties.

    PNC Bank filed three foreclosure suits against ventures of Structured Development LLC, seeking $15.8 million in total. The properties in question are a 2.5-acre site that is the former home of White Way Sign Company at 1317 N. Clybourn Ave., and a 2.3-acre lot at 1401 N. Kingsbury that was formerly a Bowman Dairy facility.

    PNC also filed to foreclose on another Structured Development property at 211 N. Clinton Street. The building is a former Chicago & Northwestern Railway Power House converted by Structured into offices and restaurants. Structured defaulted on an $8.6 million construction loan it took out in 2007 to finance the project, according to the suit.

    National City Bank originally made the loans before it was acquired by PNC in 2008. Structured Development plans to pay off the loans by selling one property and refinancing two others according to a principal at the firm. Structured has secured a loan to settle the debt with PNC in full.

    PNC alleges the monthly mortgage payments were missed in summer of 2010. Structured purchased two of the properties in 2007 and 2008, at the peak of the real estate bubble.

    The imploding of the real estate market caught both individuals and corporations off-guard. Unfortunately, for many, there is no going back, only forward. There are legal options for those who are in foreclosure.

    Benjamn Legal Services – Chicago foreclosure attorney