Valley Investments’ assets could be sold more quickly through bankruptcy filing
The receivership for Valley Investments has filed papers in U.S. Bankruptcy Court, a move aimed at allowing it to sell property more quickly.
Valley Investments failed nearly a year ago, but the receivership appointed by Denver district court has been unable to sell the company’s largest assets, manufactured-housing sites in three states.
Filing for bankruptcy protection as a debtor in possession of the property “will let us dispose of the property more rapidly,” attorney Kirk Rider said. His law firm of Rider and Quesenberry is the receiver for Valley Investments.
Valley Investments owner Philip Rand Lochmiller, his son, also Philip Rand Lochmiller, and an employee, Shawnee Carver, all face federal charges in connection with the fall of Valley Investments, in which more than 400 investors had invested more than $30 million.
Federal prosecutors are asking that the Lochmillers and Carver be tried in Grand Junction instead of Denver.
Bankruptcy proceedings, however, are scheduled for Grand Junction, Rider said.
Some investors filed challenges in state court opposing Rider’s plan to void liens on properties, sell them and divide the proceeds among all investors. Among the objections were that investors who held senior claims to the lands should be compensated first.
That would mean people who held second, third or lower-level liens might receive no compensation.
Rather than hold onto the properties while sorting out those disputes, bankruptcy court will allow for the properties to be sold, “and we’ll set aside the proceeds for a later struggle,” Rider said.
Unloading the properties also will reduce expenses, Rider said.
“The cost of administering the assets, it’s just mind-boggling,” Rider said.
Valley Investments owns Country Living Park in Mack and similar developments in La Junta; Vernal, Utah; and Pocatello, Idaho.
Dates and locations for hearings, including the first creditors meeting, have yet to be scheduled in the case, which was filed last week.