'Complex' Hermitage Club bankruptcy case coming?

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HARTFORD, CONN. — The Hermitage Club is expected to be involved in a "complex" Chapter 11 bankruptcy case, according to court documents.

A pretrial conference was allowed to be cancelled and rescheduled in Hartford, Conn., Superior Court Civil Division after Judge David Sheridan granted the request of attorneys for the Hermitage Inn Real Estate Holding Company LLC and the plaintiff Mark Brett.

Brett, a club member, is looking for about $963,000 in compensation and damages related to a deal in which he allegedly invested $250,000 in a Wilmington-based lot on Haystack Mountain Lane with a guaranteed flat fee interest of $83,333 for up to one year and $8,333 each month after that.

"Counsel have been involved in ongoing intensive settlement negotiations and have agreed upon a payment structure for the plaintiff's claim, however that will be through what is anticipated to be a complex Chapter 11 bankruptcy case to be filed by one of the defendants in this case," attorneys for Brett wrote. "Accordingly, the plaintiff requires this action to remain pending to allow for the bankruptcy case to proceed and the settlement agreement to be implemented in the Chapter 11 case. If there is a default in the terms of the settlement agreement by the debtor, then the plaintiff must have the opportunity to proceed against the remaining defendant."

Brett lives in Old Lyme, Conn., according to an affidavit.

A recent letter to members mentions efforts about "reorganization," a word Investopedia defines as "an attempt to extend the life of a company facing bankruptcy through special arrangements and restructuring in order to minimize the possibility of past situations reoccurring."

"We have been working with highly experienced work out advisors, our tax partner and our corporate and restructuring counsel over this period on exploration of a court supervised reorganization plan," Hermitage founder Jim Barnes and club president Harper Sibley wrote to members in the middle of last month. "We expect to finalize this plan soon. This includes a funding commitment during the reorganization period and an exit funding commitment on acceptance of the plan from all of the creditor classes."

They said they "have guidance that this period of reorganization can be completed and approved in four to six months."

Reach staff writer Chris Mays at cmays@reformer.com, at @CMaysBR on Twitter and 802-254-2311, ext. 273.

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