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Founders of Tacoma’s Prium Companies, more than two years after bankruptcy, still negotiating with creditors

Post by Kathleen Cooper / The News Tribune on March 21, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
March 21, 2013 2:45 pm

Two Tacoma real estate developers, who have been in bankruptcy for more than two years, still are negotiating with creditors but things are “moving along,” their lawyer said Thursday.

Tom Price, one of the two owners of Prium, exits the Federal Courthouse last year. Photo by Lui Kit Wong/Staff photographer
Tom Price, one of the two owners of Prium, exits the Federal Courthouse in 2011. Photo by Lui Kit Wong/Staff photographer

During a status conference arranged by Western Washington’s chief bankruptcy judge, Paul Snyder, lawyers involved with the Chapter 11 filings of Tom Price and Hyun Um didn’t offer many specifics. They assured Snyder, though, that progress was being made.

“My clients are quite ready to get this case done and over with,” said Todd Tracy, who represents Price and Um.

The pair, founders of real estate development company Prium, filed for bankruptcy in August 2010 to protect the business from being seized by another company that had a judgement against them. That judgement ultimately was overturned, but not before the inner-workings of Prium was revealed in public documents. The pair listed debts as high as $350 million and a byzantine structure of limited liability companies related to individual real estate projects, many of which were never completed or that had long-running maintenance issues.

Hyun Um, an owner of Prium Companies, LLC, arrives at work in 2011. Photo by Peter Haley / Staff photographer
Hyun Um, an owner of Prium Companies, LLC, arrives at work in 2011. Photo by Peter Haley / Staff photographer

The men have been settling one by one with creditors, sometimes through individual LLCs going through bankruptcy reorganization. Other creditors are negotiating with Price and Um during a court-ordered mediation involving another bankruptcy judge.

This week, Snyder approved a request from lawyers representing unsecured creditors to hire another forensic accountant to analyze Prium’s cash flow to determine what is available to repay debts. Last year, the first forensic accountant provided such a review, but he has since retired. Fircrest-based CPA Anita Eixenberger has been hired to do the updated analysis, with a budget of $20,000 and a deadline of May 31.

On Thursday, Snyder scheduled another status update for mid-June.

“Put this case at the top of your list,” he told the lawyers. “This is a case that has to get done.”

 

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