By Chris Kramer
A Central Illinois farmer and his wife recently filed for Chapter 11 personal bankruptcy, listing debts that they claim are mostly related to their 8,000-acre farm.
Robert and Julie Printz claim liabilities ranging between $10 million and $50 million, owed to approximately 85 creditors, according to the Pantagraph. The 20 largest unsecured creditors reportedly include insurance companies, farm-input suppliers and farming cooperatives.
Among these creditors is CoBank, which recently sued Robert Printz for $4.6 million in federal court, claiming that the farmer obtained millions of dollars from another client of the agricultural lender, Towanda Grain Company, through loans and advances over a period of two years. The grain elevator operation shut down citing losses on its balance sheet; CoBank claims the losses mainly stem from the transactions with Printz. A spokesman for the state's Department of Agriculture said that the operation's failure is currently under investigation.
Chapter 11 bankruptcy is most commonly filed by businesses seeking to reorganize. It often allows the business to continue to function while gradually repaying debts. In some cases, consumers can file under Chapter 11 of the bankruptcy code if their debts prevent them from filing for Chapter 13.