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Florida developer forced to file for bankruptcy

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition was recently filed for The Devlin Group Inc., which is a well-known residential and commercial real estate developer in Florida. The company was involved in numerous projects throughout the state.

The liquidation bankruptcy petition was not voluntary on the part of The Devlin Group, and according to sources, Orio Holdings NY LLC and Orio Nine Mile LLC are petitioning for a claim totaling more than $18 million.

The Jacksonville Beach-based Devlin Group had been involved in several high-profile projects, and had also planned numerous mixed-use projects that were never completed.

The owner of The Devlin Group - like many real estate developers in Florida - has claimed to have been heavily affected by the recent recession. However, in this specific circumstance, his company had previously filed a lien against The Auchter Co. for millions of dollars. In the end, The Auchter Co. was forced to close its doors.

When looking to the future for The Devlin Group Inc. and its owner, it is hard to say exactly what will happen. With a Chapter 7 bankruptcy a company's assets are sold and the business itself is essentially done. However, with most or all of the debts wiped clean, the owner of the real estate development company may just decide to reopen another business.

While Chapter 7 is an option for some, it is also not the only debt relief that is available. For businesses that are struggling to keep up with bills - and who actually want to file for bankruptcy - Chapter 13 is another option that essentially sets up a repayment plan to creditors and allows for the company to restructure and keep its doors open for business.

Source: Jacksonville Business Journal, "Devlin Group in bankruptcy court," Christian Conte, 10 March 2011

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