May 15, 2012
By John Clark
Las Vegas developer Bill Plise is filing for bankruptcy in Nevada in order to shed debts worth more than $500 million, according to a report from the Las Vegas Sun.
Sources say that Plise admitted to the bankruptcy court that he holds more than $506.5 million in debt, and reportedly owns only $4,738 worth of assets.
Plise had filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy a few weeks ago, but he made his first detailed financial disclosures to the bankruptcy court earlier this week.
According to his filing, Plise is also involved in 12 different lawsuits, most of which are related to overdue loan payments. Interestingly, despite the fact that he is unemployed, his living expenses are reportedly currently being paid by a credit facility in Las Vegas.
A horde of creditors descended on Plise after he served as the guarantor for loans given to several unsuccessful real estate developments in the Las Vegas area.
A few years ago, Plise attempted to develop a project in Henderson, Nevada worth roughly $2 billion, but the recession struck during the beginning stages of the development, and it never fully recovered.
A significant portion of Plise’s debt relates to this failed venture. Plise, however, was not always unsuccessful in business. Sources say he developed major Las Vegas projects like the Centennial Corporate Center and the Rainbow Sunset Pavilion, but his luck, like the luck of so many other people, ran short during the recession.
The economic malaise that struck in 2008 had a particularly devastating effect on business in Las Vegas, which depends on a thriving tourism industry to keep its boom-or-bust economy afloat.
And despite his past success as a developer, Plise was not immune from larger economic forces. Still, sources suggest that Plise’s personal finances may have played a role in his debt woes, and his creditors will likely push the bankruptcy court to perform a thorough investigation.
Major creditors in the bankruptcy filing include three Nevada banks that failed during the recession, including Silver State Bank, First National Bank of Nevada, and Community Bank of Nevada.
Other important creditors include a wide range of financial institutions, including Bank of America, Wells Fargo Bank, U.S. Bank, and Aspen Financial Services.
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