REXBURG, Idaho – Rex Rammell, a Republican gubernatorial candidate for 2010, has sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for his development business and is trying to sell properties in neighboring Wyoming to cover debts.
According to U.S. Bankruptcy Court documents filed May 27, Rammell’s company, Chief Joseph, Idaho LLC, aims to sell one “spec home” for $1.3 million and an unfinished four-unit condominium for $1 million. The home and the condominiums are located in Jackson, Wyo.
Court documents from Jan. 9, when the bankruptcy petition was filed, indicated Chief Joseph owes unsecured creditors including architects and builders about $600,000. Lenders also say he hasn’t repaid loans that now total about $750,000.
Rammell, a veterinarian and former elk rancher who ran unsuccessfully as an independent in the 2008 U.S. Senate race won by Republican Jim Risch, told the Rexburg Standard-Journal newspaper the dour housing market left him unable to sell the home. Meanwhile, he said, the collapse of his lender, Arkansas National Bank, left him without adequate cash to complete the condominiums.
“Both projects were moving along and I was running for the United States Senate,” he told the newspaper. “Then in May of 2008, right in the middle of my Senate campaign, the FDIC called us up and said that ANB was bankrupt.”
According to court documents filed in early May, Rammell still owes the bank $747,585 – the unpaid principal balance of $691,855, plus interest of $55,492.
Rammell’s latest proposed Chapter 11 bankruptcy plan requires him to sell both properties by Nov. 1, 2009.
If he can’t, the lender could foreclose.
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