By John Clark
Financial distress often leads savvy Americans to take unique measures to save their fledgling companies. And the recent case of a Maine businessman who filed bankruptcy to save his company is a prime example.
According to sources, James Horowitz recently transferred the assets of his company, Oxford Aviation, to himself so he could file for bankruptcy and save his company from the hands of his creditors.
Airline President Files Bankruptcy to Save Company
According to a report this week from the Lewiston Sun Journal, Jams Horowitz transferred all of the assets, inventory, and leasehold interests held by his company, Oxford Aviation, to himself on November 12.
The transaction reportedly place for a single dollar, sources say. On the same day, Horowitz then took the novel step of filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in a U.S. Bankruptcy Court.
Sources say Horowitz took this relatively drastic step in response to an eviction attempt by Oxford County, Maine, which has tried to boot the company from the 40,000-square-foot hangar it leases at the Oxford County Regional Airport.
This attempt, apparently, was almost successful, as Oxford County reportedly obtained a forcible entry and detainer, which is the formal name for a court’s approval of an eviction action. Sources say the county claims Oxford Aviation has breached 11 terms of its rental contract.
But by placing the aviation company’s assets under his own name, and then filing for bankruptcy help, Horowitz has put the county in a difficult situation. Bankruptcy’s automatic stay immediately halts all collection actions, so the county might try to pursue its claim in bankruptcy court.
Aviation Company President Files for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Sources say Oxford Aviation, which repairs and refurbishes older aircraft, was founded in 1989 and currently employs up to 60 workers, but its future remains a bit unsettled after its founder’s bankruptcy filing.
Still, by filing bankruptcy, Horowitz has given himself extra time to consider his options. And according to his bankruptcy attorney, the president of the company is actively seeking a buyer.
Horowitz’s attorney recently told sources that his client filed bankruptcy to stop the eviction and “preserve the value of the lease.” In addition, Horowitz’s intention is to “sell the company as a whole, to a buyer, and use the proceeds, hopefully, to pay creditors down,” said his attorney.
During the bankruptcy proceeding, Oxford Aviation will reportedly continue to fix the planes it has on site, but will not accept new clients, according to reports.