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Former "Top Chef" Contestant Cooks Up Bankruptcy Strategy

Posted By admin || 20-Aug-2010

Former Former "Top Chef" contestant, Timothy Dean may place his restaurant, Dean's Prime Steakhouse in Chapter 11 bankruptcy to avoid foreclosure.

Adams National Bank, which won a $1.3 million judgment against Dean and the real-estate company that owns the property earlier this year, is holding the auction. Dean said he wants to work with the bank to avoid the foreclosure and instead renegotiate his mortgage payments. Dean said if he's not able to do so, he'll put the real-estate company into Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to halt the foreclosure.

But after placing Dean's T.D. Bistro Inc. in Chapter 11 bankruptcy this past May the restaurateur ended up dismissing his own bankruptcy case because the debt reorganization was not possible because of his failure to renew the liquor license for the restaurant.  It is not clear exactly how much other debt Dean has, but if he filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy the inclusion of other outstanding debt in the bankruptcy would be required and Dean would need to propose a plan for repayment that's feasible and sustainable in the eyes of his creditors and the bankruptcy court. Failure to propose a feasible and sustainable bankruptcy repayment plan could result in another dismissal.

But despite Timothy Dean's voluntary bankruptcy dismissal, he offers an excellent example of a business owner thinking smart about bankruptcy.  Dean understands that bankruptcy is a tool to save his business and has stated his intention to utilize this tool. Are his business peers criticizing him for his decision to file bankruptcy if he is unable to stop the foreclosure on his own?  Most likely not.  Then why is it that so many criticize regular people trying to save their home from foreclosure by filing bankruptcy?  Bankruptcy is not just for business owners like Dean, it is also for the everyday Joes and Janes in this country he need second chance.

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