By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
On the day he was due to answer the most-recent “unlawful detainer” complaint from the owner of the North Delridge property that holds West Seattle Athletic Club, its owner Sam Adams advised King County Superior Court that he filed for bankruptcy over the weekend.
We have confirmed the Chapter 11 case via documents filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court‘s Western District of Washington.
The “unlawful detainer” complaint was first reported here two weeks ago, with court filings including a document in which club landlord John Pietromonaco alleged that he was owed more than $594,000 including back rent and late fees.
It was the second time this year that Pietromonaco’s firm H-P Properties filed an “unlawful detainer” case – seeking payment or eviction – was filed against Adams and the West Seattle club; the previous one, initiated in January, was closed in April after Adams made payments, according to the landlord’s lawyer, and the same document showed those payments totaled $286,000, more than half of what he owed at the time.
The response filed today says that by law, the unlawful-detainer proceedings against Adams regarding WSAC must be put on hold while the bankruptcy case proceeds: “… Any and all proceedings concerning the Defendants Adams’ individual tenancy at the subject leasehold are now stayed …” In an e-mail exchange, H-P Properties’ lawyer David Tall tells WSB that they will seek “… relief from [the] stay or the payment of adequate protection.”
Adams, a former Seattle Seahawks player who lives in Kirkland, bought the club in March of last year with approval of the judge in the bankruptcy proceedings – also Chapter 11 – of its previous ownership, which they had initiated in late summer 2012.
According to the documents filed in federal bankruptcy court as of this afternoon, the bankruptcy declaration was made on Saturday (June 28th). They include a list of “top unsecured claims” totaling $3.4 million dollars, the fourth largest of which is listed as $570,000 to H-P Properties. It and three larger claims, to Seattle, New York, and Los Angeles firms, are all described as “disputed.”
Another document, involving the hiring of a Bellevue-based bankruptcy attorney, includes this line: “Client acknowledges Sam Adams contacted Attorney late in the week before a scheduled commercial eviction. As such, Client acknowledges that Attorney has not had a complete and full opportunity to engage in extensive pre-filing advice.” Lawyer Lawrence Engel‘s declaration also says that while he has not had contact with Adams last year or this year – until now – he was consulted by Adams “in the spring of 2011 about various debtor/creditor issues he was experiencing in commercial and business matters.”
We are continuing to research the case and will add any additional information we find. Chapter 11 bankruptcy is explained here, including that “A chapter 11 debtor usually proposes a plan of reorganization to keep its business alive and pay creditors over time.”