Hotel Fredonia owner: Bankruptcy not an easy choice

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - A personal bankruptcy filing is rarely taken lightly. Susan Pack Reents, the Hotel Fredonia owner, said Monday the business decision is not an easy way out and a hard choice to make.

Dr. Banker Phares took a look Monday at the public notice of Reents bankruptcy filing. He's familiar with the legalese based on more than 40 years experience.

"Well, I'm an attorney and for years I've represented banks in bankruptcy proceedings," Phares said.

However, the man named Banker, who represented banks, has seen how a debtor is placed through emotional turmoil.

"From my prospective from over the years you try almost everything you can to work with the debtor until we both give up," Phares said.

When reents filed chapter 13, she wasn't alone. So this year, more than 23,000 Texans have filed personal bankruptcy.

"Chapter 13 is also what's knows as reorganization," Phares said. "It's where an individual, and I emphasize an individual uses that as a means of saying that I can pay these debts, but I have to pay them in a different way than they're presently scheduled. So the hotel is not included in this Chapter 13."

Hotel Fredonia is owned under a partnership called Sepack Hospitality. So far Sepack has not filed the business bankruptcy known as chapter 11. Nor has it filed for chapter 7, a business liquidation. This means bank foreclosure continues. This actually may bring in a buyer when none has surfaced on the open real estate market.

"The people that want to buy will wait and watch the foreclosure take place and try to bid it in at a lower price than they could buy it from the other person in a private sale," Phares said.

Today in a telephone conversation Reents said, "I really had no choice in the matter when it got to that point." She added, "It's amazing to go through something like this, but it will be ok."

"You have to understand a bankruptcy is designed to basically allow people a fresh start," Phares said.

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