United League Baseball has had a rough off-season this year and the recent news of the San Angelo Colts only make matters worse.
According to the San Angelo Standard-Times, Mary Francis Durham, a court-appointed trustee, opposed a recent bankruptcy filing by the owners of the San Angelo Colts. Durham stated that the team has not met legal conditions for approval.
The Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing by San Angelo Colts LLC would allow for the owners to restructure debts to maintain ownership of the club’s assets, which include the club’s ballpark Foster Field. However, Durham is opposed to the filing, arguing that it should either be converted to a Chapter 13 bankruptcy — which would allow for dissolution of assets — or dismissed with prejudice, which means anyone with a secured or an unsecured claim could go after the team’s assets. Durham opposed the filing mainly due to the fact that the team owners, including majority owner John Bryant, failed to file operating reports in an orderly fashion.
The motion was filed on Dec. 2 and it states that the case should be converted to Chapter 7 bankruptcy or dismissed with prejudice because “the Debtor has failed to file monthly operating reports and failed to provide the United State Trustee with tax returns, proof of insurance and proof of debtor-in-possession bank account.”
The motion argues that action is being taken to protect the interests of creditors and the estate. It also states that “cause exists to dismiss the case or convert to Chapter 7 due to the absence of a reasonable likelihood of reorganization and continuing loss to the estate.”
The motion’s conclusion by trustee Mary Francis Durham states: “Dismissal with prejudice would aid creditors seeking to take action against the Debtor and its property and is appropriate because the Debtor did not file operating reports and has filed bankruptcy before.”
According to the motion, the Colts organization has $714,034 in unsecured debt, and the IRS has a secured claim against the club of about $28,000.
If the Colts file a challenge by Dec. 26, a hearing will be tentatively scheduled for Jan. 22 of next year. If not, then the motion will be granted.
Bad news has been somewhat of a normality for the ULB this year. The Fort Worth Cats were kicked out of their ballpark LaGrave Field, and the long-term stability of the league continues to look bleak.
Anton Joe is an Independent League Baseball Reporter for Baseball Essential. You can follow him on Twitter @AntonJoe_BBE.