Strawberry Park Owner Says He's Found Investors
In federal bankruptcy court in Hartford, Conn., Monday (Jan. 10), lawyers for Strawberry Park campground operator Hyman Biber claimed to have found a group of investment bankers and lawyers willing to help Biber reorganize the campground's financial structure, theday.com reported.
Biber's lawyers said the Preston, Conn., campground "has a fair opportunity to succeed in reorganization if it's given a chance."
Judge Albert S. Dabrowski of the Connecticut District of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court postponed the appointment of a "chief reorganization officer," choosing to schedule a full day of evidentiary hearing before making a decision.
On Friday, Biber had filed an emergency motion to appoint Richard Finkel as chief reorganization officer for Volin LLC, Strawberry Farms LLC and Strawberry Park RV Resort Inc, the three business entities tied to Strawberry Park campground.
If appointed, Finkel will have the power to control the benefit of the business, the estate and its finances, enter into retention agreements with legal counsel, enter into a borrowing facility and other actions deemed appropriate.
The responsibilities of the property's current court-appointed receiver, Elite Resorts, will remain the same for now, Dabrowski said.
The judge also postponed the hearing of the three motions for relief from stay for Volin LLC, Strawberry Farms LLC and Strawberry Park RV Resort Inc.
The three companies each have individual involuntary bankruptcy claims against them.
Last month, Citizens National Bank in Putnam; Norwich attorney and close personal friend of Biber's, Richard Rothstein; and Biber's brother Joseph, filed involuntary bankruptcy claims totaling more than $900,000.
The group claims it is owed more than $3.4 million.
Mark Stern, an attorney representing Preston Strawberry Funding Associates of Norwalk, sought a motion Monday morning to dismiss the three involuntary claims based on bad faith and abstention.
Stern claimed Monday that Biber's friends and family members filed the claims as a last-ditch effort to delay the campground's scheduled Feb. 26 foreclosure sale.
"These bankruptcies and relating proceedings have all been about delaying the sale, there isn't an argument about the facts," Stern said. "At the last minute in every instance, they've pushed this case further. We're at the one-yard line and there are potential bidders in this room monitoring the case."
The three involuntary claim motions, the motion to convert the Chapter 11 bankruptcy case to Chapter 7 and the motion to grant relief from stay are scheduled to be heard during next week's hearing.
Biber's lawyer, Carl Gulliver, said he expects a portion of next Thursday's hearing to be heard on paper, without argument.
The hearing is scheduled for Jan. 20 in the federal bankruptcy court in Hartford.