Property owner Billy Abraham loses control of 11 buildings after bankruptcy hearing
EL PASO, Texas (CBS4) —
A bankruptcy judge ruled that El Paso property owner Billy Abraham will no longer be in control of his 11 properties throughout the city.
Abraham was asking the bankruptcy court to give him some more time to be able to pay off a $1.3 million debt he owed creditors, but the judge decided someone has the ability to sell enough of them to clear the debt.
Judge Christopher Mott made the decision because the financial information filed with the court was incomplete and vague.
A trustee will be assigned to oversee the sale of the properties because of the inaccuracies with the information.
This assignment also allows Abraham to clear up his records.
As previously reported, Abraham had a court-ordered debt worth $1.3 million that he had to pay to the son of famed Mexican singer Juan Gabriel.
Gabriel held a concert in El Paso and told Abraham could keep the profit from it, but Gabriel’s son sued Abraham after his father died.
On Tuesday, an attorney for Gabriel’s son and other creditors argued Abraham had to liquidate all of his buildings, which is known as Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
They argued that the court record of all of Abraham's assets was incorrect.
Attorneys also argued it was unclear who owned any of the buildings because Abraham said the rent was collected by a third party and he never made any profit.
The unusual cash handling and “gross mismanagement” of the properties also led the judge made the ruling.
Abraham wanted Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which would allow him to restructure his debt and pay it off over time.
He described a downtown master plan to be able to sell some of his properties to pay off the debt.
Mott said the Chapter 11 trustee will be an expensive process for Abraham.
The U.S. Trustees Office will decide who will oversee the 11 properties and when that person will be appointed.