As promised: Halsey Minor chooses bankruptcy for mansion's LLC
As he promised to do, internet financier and halted hotel-builder Halsey Minor has placed the LLC he created for owning a historic Williamsburg-area mansion into bankruptcy, thus thwarting efforts to sell the foreclosed property at auction Tuesday.
The move was first revealed by the Virginia Gazette, a newspaper that has been covering the latest contretemps swirling around the embattled Minor. He once held a fortune estimated near $400 million, but he allegedly got behind on his mortgage payments on the 1755 Carter's Grove estate.
In what seems to have become a pattern, Minor used the planned February 15 foreclosure auction to lash out at the seller, accusing the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation of foisting a leaky edifice on him, of draping the property with easements that might prevent him from opening the place to the public, and just generally spewing attacks on the historical organization's management, marketing, motives, and even its corporate vision (or lack thereof).
The Foundation and others have pointed out that terms of the sale gave Minor and his minions copious opportunity to inspect both the property and the legal documents that conveyed it.
California court records show that Carters Grove LLC, in contrast to some of the larger deals involving Minor, has just 10 unsecured creditors listed with the court, with the largest one being Dominion Power, which is allegedly owed $18,000. Other unpaid creditors include the Newport News Waterworks at $1,400, Tiger Fuel at $6,338, and architectural paint analyst Natasha Loeblich whom Minor's filing appears to admit that he owes $5,700.
Minor has said that he stopped payment on his mortgage to express his displeasure with the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. What transgresions these other creditors might have committed to leave them likewise unpaid has thus far, however, gone unsaid. On the morning of February 17, a reporter spoke with a representative of Minor, who offered to try to find out.
Already, Minor has been admonished by the California bankruptcy court for failing to file nine required documents– including a list of personal property and a statement of financial affairs. Should Minor fail by March 1 to submit the forms or to sufficiently explain why he needs more time, Judge Thomas E. Carlson can toss out the bankruptcy filing, thus giving a green light to the mortgage-holder to relaunch the auction proceedings.
This is not the first time Minor has placed one of his companies into voluntary bankruptcy proceedings. Last September, he filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition for Minor Family Hotels LLC, the company that was building the stalled Landmark hotel on the Charlottesville Downtown Mall. Minor tried to pool some of his pending court cases into Virginia bankruptcy court; but the effort failed, and last month he ended up losing control of the hotel project via summary judgment in an Atlanta-area courtroom.
–-last updated 11:47am, Thursday, February 17
–story corrected at 8:48am Friday, February 18 to provide correct name of the newspaper. It's the Virginia Gazette, not the Williamsburg Gazette.Read more on: halsey minor