Proprietor of Austin-area buying facilities information for chapter; leisure advanced coming to Cedar Park and extra high space information

Washington Prime Group Inc. owns six shopping centers in the area, including The Arboretum. (Courtesy of the arboretum)

Read last week’s top business and community news from the Central Texas region.

Central Texas

Austin area mall owner files Chapter 11 bankruptcy

Washington Prime Group Inc. announced on June 15 that it and its subsidiaries would file voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings in the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas.

Leander Cedar Park


• The Office of Police Oversight report finds that complaints against Austin police officers have increased but discipline has decreased in 2020
• North Pleasant Valley Road construction project in East Austin begins June 21st
• Austin Weird Homes Tour ends; Z’Tejas Shuts Down Restaurant Arboretum and Other News from Central Texas
• Travis County pledges to electrify its fleet and double its climate targets
• Indeed Tower in Downtown Austin is sold to a California real estate and development company in a $ 580 million deal

Pickleball, entertainment complex in Cedar Park

Cedar Park will be home to the first of three pickleball and entertainment complexes in central Texas.

Round Rock, Pflugerville-Hutto

RRISD parents request a public forum with the superintendent finalist and postpone the hiring

A total of 16 parents of Round Rock ISD spoke out on June 10th against the possible hiring of superintendent finalist Dr. Hafedh Azaiez without offering a town hall or a meeting.

In the Round Rock-Pflugerville-Hutto area, property prices are increasing year on year

The latest data from the Austin Board of Realtors shows that average house prices are reaching all-time highs in central Texas, including in the Round Rock-Pflugerville-Hutto area.


TxDOT is soliciting public opinion on proposed changes to I-35 in Georgetown

The Texas Department of Transportation is accepting public comments through June 26 on a proposed project in Georgetown to improve safety and mobility on I-35 between SE Inner Loop and RM 1431.

Brooke Sjoberg, Taylor Girtman, Brian Rash, and Trent Thompson contributed to this report.

Disbarred former LeClairRyan lawyer Bruce Matson shells out extra money to LandAmerica chapter property

Bruce Matson paid $ 577,000 to LandAmerica’s bankruptcy estate in March. (BizSense file)

Six months after Bruce Matson lost his statutory license to improperly insert seven-digit funds from LandAmerica’s long-dormant bankruptcy estate, he wrote another sizeable check regarding the case.

The veteran Richmond attorney and longtime general counsel of the now bankrupt LeClairRyan law firm paid an additional $ 577,000 to the LandAmerica property in March, according to federal court figures.

This is on top of the $ 2.8 million he returned to a successor trustee last year after it was revealed that the funds had been withdrawn from LandAmerica’s settlement account and deposited into personal accounts of Matson and an associate.

Matson, who had spent much of his 40-year career as a bankruptcy administrator, oversaw the complex LandAmerica case from the collapse of the Henrico-based title insurance giant in 2008 to its seemingly successful conclusion in 2015.

However, in August 2019, the bankruptcy court was made aware of LandAmerica’s $ 2.8 million resolution fund had been emptied. These funds should only be disbursed after the completion phase in 2021.

Matson eventually admitted the funds were transferred to his and an employee’s accounts before being returned. Matson was then removed from LandAmerica as trustee and then despite his objections was excluded from the Virginia State Bar in November for his money handling.

Matson admitted to the VSB that the allegations were true and that he was unable to successfully defend the claims. He eventually agreed to revoke his license to practice in Virginia.

Seasoned Richmond attorney Benjamin Ackerly, who retired from Hunton Andrews Kurth, has been appointed to replace Matson as trustee in the LandAmerica case. Ackerly’s camp continues to investigate the Matson affair.

A lawyer representing Ackerly had no comment on the recent $ 577,000 payment.

Matson made no comment.

LeClairRyan’s office is padlocked in this file photo. (BizSense file)

Matson has also gotten rid of some of the tentacles of LeClairRyan’s ongoing bankruptcy over the past few weeks.

A brief court record on the case earlier this month shows that Matson has reached an undisclosed sum with LCR trustee Lynn Tavenner. The agreement was reached after a two-day mediation session from March 26th to 27th.

Matson was represented in the mediation by McGuireWood’s attorney Dion Hayes.

Tavenner has negotiated with dozens of former LCR lawyers in an attempt to reclaim the funds they received from the company that led to their bankruptcy.

You have each received letters of formal notice from the trustee to start discussions and possible mediation. As is common with such bankruptcies, if a solution cannot be reached through mediation, the trustee can file a formal lawsuit against the respective attorney.

The LCR estate continues its too Legal dispute with legal services giant UnitedLexwho formed a controversial joint venture with the law firm that led to its liquidation.

Tavenner filed $ 128 million in damages last year claiming UnitedLex kept the law firm alive longer than it should have in order to “wrongly and unjustifiably be millions of millions to the detriment of LeClairRyan’s creditors.” To draw dollars from the estate “.

UnitedLex fired back on the case, arguing that the majority of the case should be dismissed or at least referred to another court where it could have the opportunity to discuss its case in front of a jury.

The case continues before the federal bankruptcy court.

U.S. Chapter Tracker: Straightforward Cash Mutes Misery

(Bloomberg) – Distressed debt investors are having a hard time finding opportunities in the US, where wide-open credit markets mean more companies are borrowing out of trouble.

Only four companies with liabilities of $ 50 million or more filed for bankruptcy in the US last week. These included an aircraft parts manufacturer and a clothing seller – both hit by the pandemic.

The total number since the start of the year was 49, which is above the 10-year average of around 38, but according to Bloomberg, it is below the 57 submissions in the corresponding period of 2020.

Massive government support and persistently low interest rates caused distressed investment specialists to search for junk. According to Bloomberg, the total amount of outstanding debt fell below $ 90 billion from nearly $ 1 trillion at the height of the pandemic.

“We got into this pandemic because there was so much money on the verge,” said David W. Prager, restructuring and financial advisor at Kroll. “The money had to go somewhere and it will support a hope and a prayer.”

Prager expects a “comeuppance” over the next six months will reveal winners and losers of the pandemic as workers return to their offices and the economy regains a sense of normalcy. Hotels, airlines, cinemas, amusement parks, restaurant chains and retailers are still vulnerable, he said in an interview.

“The next big wave of filings won’t happen until the market believes interest rates will rise significantly,” said Tom Goldblatt, managing partner at Ravinia Capital, in a webinar, adding that it could take years. “It’s based on a herd mentality,” he said.

As long as investors see opportunities in riskier credit, “they will continue to see capital markets work to mute the default cycle,” said Dan Guyder, a partner in the bankruptcy practice of Allen & Overy law firm.

Felicia Perlman, co-head of the restructuring group at law firm McDermott Will & Emery, expects bankruptcy filings to pick up in the second half of the year. The numbers still won’t hit the levels predicted at the beginning of the pandemic, she said in an interview.

The story goes on

Hospitals and the broader healthcare sector will continue to be affected by the virus, Perlman said. “Healthcare was the only industry that couldn’t close but had to keep its doors open to serve the communities and grapple with the financial implications,” she said.

More shrinkage

The number of bad bonds and loans traded fell to around $ 89 billion on April 9, a 3.3% decrease from the previous week, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The number of troubled bonds decreased 6.3%, while non-performing loans increased 5.8%.

Click here for a worksheet of bad bonds and loans

According to trace data, 232 distressed bonds from 128 issuers were traded on Monday, up from 243 and 133 in the previous week.

According to Bloomberg data, Diamond Sports Group LLC had the most heavily burdened debt from issuers who hadn’t filed for bankruptcy as of April 9. Parent company, Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc., announced in a March announcement that if the pandemic doesn’t worsen, Diamond will have enough cash for the next 12 months.

For more information on bad debt and bankruptcies, click here. First Word is curated by Bloomberg editors to bring you actionable news from Bloomberg and select sources like the Dow Jones and Twitter. First Word can be customized to fit your worksheet, sectors, geography, or other criteria by clicking Actions on the toolbar or pressing the HELP button for assistance.

(Updates with details of total NPLs in paragraph four.)

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