The latest in a string of bad financial news for the Real Housewives of New York star is that a U.S. Bankruptcy Judge has signed off on an agreement to escalate her bankruptcy and appoint a trustee.
Sonja has been attempting to liquidate several luxury multi-million dollar properties, including her NYC townhome, her Colorado ski home, and just recently a St. Tropez vacation home in an effort to repay a $7 million dollar debt related to a failed movie production deal.
CLICK CONTINUE READING FOR THE REST!
According to law360.com Hannibal Pictures, Inc told the U.S. Trustee's Office that Sonja had been "dragging her feet and failed to pay creditors" in a timely or earnest manner. Ian J. Gazes of Gazes LLC was appointed by the U.S. Trustee’s Office and U.S Bankruptcy Judge Shelley C. Chapman signed off on the appointment Friday.
The company first requested oversight in 2011 and Sonja was admonished by the judge in November '12 for failing to make progress in selling her properties to make repayment.
"Hannibal’s attorneys contended in court papers that she has demanded an unreasonable price for her Manhattan townhouse and that her ongoing disputes with her former husband are preventing her from selling another property in France."
Citing a “continuing strategy of repeated delays geared at promoting her selfish interests at the expense of her creditors is an abuse of the bankruptcy process” Hannibal requested that a Chapter 11 trustee was necessary to progress the situation.
Sonja's attorney disputes this, claiming a potential buyer for the French property has been identified and that the asking price on her Manhattan home is reflective of other properties in the neighborhood.
Do they have extensive neglect and water damage too? What about Blackberry clogged toilets?
Kevin J. Nash of Goldberg Weprin Finkel Goldstein LLP, who represents Sonja, claimed the recent request for a trustee is “designed to turn up the heat on the debtor, who already feels great pressure to move forward." A judge did not agree!
As for the judge's dismissal of Sonja's attempts, it appears she has quite the history of attempting to skirt financial responsibilities related to this case! Here's a brief history of previous proceedings.
- In 2011 Sonja attempted to have the Chapter 11 status converted to a Chapter 7 status in an effort to maintain her NYC home as a primary residence and avoid declaring it in her assets and incomes.
"The major difference between debtor's plan and Chapter 7 liquidation is that the latter liquidates the entirety of debtor's estate, whereas debtor would only liquidate her Manhattan property if sale of the other assets of the estate failed to yield adequate proceeds to pay creditors in full," Hannibal argued.
"Upon presentation of proper valuation evidence, it will become apparent that liquidation of all of the real property of the estate is the inevitable direction of these proceedings." The court upheld the Chapter 11 status.
- Sonja is also accused of transferring millions of dollars to other bank accounts to hide assets and improperly accounting for expenses, which Hannibal cites as proof that she's either "trying to confuse or avoid creditors" or that she's "incapable of managing her financial affairs."
"Tremont-Morgan’s manifest bad conduct has created a powerful basis to conclude that she cannot be relied on or trusted to properly discharge the duties of a debtor-in-possession in an honest and proper manner," their lawyers attest.
Sonja initially planned to remedy the debts by liquidating both the French home and the home in Telluride, Colo., along with submitting a $3M judgment she was to be awarded by her ex-husband. Unfortunately neither home has been sold (she apparently only listed the Colo. recently) and she was not granted additional monies by her ex.
Sonja's ex contends that he has claims to those properties as well, which nullified the plan. Sonja filed an "adversary proceeding" against J.A. Morgan to state her right to sell the $10 million dollar Colo. home which carries a $7 million dollar mortgage according to the disclosure statement.
Sonja hopes that the sale of both these homes, (it would appear the Colo. one is still in dispute) will allow her to forgo selling her primary NYC townhome.
Sounds like it's time for Sonja to snag another rich husband…
[Photo Credit: Alberto Reyes/WENN.com]
TELL US – WHAT DO YOU THINK OF SONJA'S BANKRUPTCY SITUATION? IS SHE INTENTIONALLY TRYING TO EVADE HER CREDITORS OR IS SHE SCRAMBLING TO MAKE PAYMENTS IN A DIFFICULT ENVIRONMENT?