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Steelers Backup Quarterback Files for Bankruptcy After Real Estate Investments Tank

January 20, 2011

Our Riverside County personal bankruptcy attorneys were disappointed to read about the bankruptcy of an active player on an NFL playoff team. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported Jan. 15 on the bankruptcy of Charlie Batch, a backup quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Batch's problems don't come from overspending on personal items, but from his Batch Development Co., a real estate redevelopment company. Batch Development has invested heavily in Batch's hometown of Homestead, a Pittsburgh suburb that has suffered financially from the decline of the steel industry. In all, Batch lists $8.29 million in debts, including multiple mortgage debts and $2.3 million in assets including his $722,376 NFL salary.

Batch Development has 25 properties that recently went into receivership after it was unable to make payments on a bank mortgage. The mortgagor, Dollar Bank, told a court that Batch has been working with the properties, but hasn't been able to charge enough rent to make mortgage payments. Most of the properties are single-family homes, with some multiple-unit housing. The bank said it planned to sell the properties. This group of properties is distinct from the ongoing conversion of the Homestead Bakery Co. building into apartments, office space and retail, which is not in financial trouble and expected to open in the spring. The bankruptcy is also not expected to affect the Batch Foundation, a children's charity. Batch has said he wants to build a real estate development portfolio while also helping revitalize Homestead.

As Orange individual bankruptcy lawyers, we think Batch's financial problems are typical of the problems facing the entire real estate market: rents are falling, while mortgage payments stay the same. The depression of rents may be especially bad in Homestead, which has suffered financially since the closing of its steel mill. It's a shame that his attempts to improve his home town happened to come at a bad time in the real estate market. It's not clear whether Batch filed for bankruptcy in an attempt to hold on to the 25 properties, but the lender may have a good incentive to work with him on an alternative to a foreclosure sale. After all, the properties are unlikely to fetch more in the current market than they did in 2008, when the loan was made. The bankruptcy court may also be able to set up a repayment plan, depending on the kind of bankruptcy he filed.

When even NFL players can end up in bankruptcy, people with ordinary financial resources may also have problems. Howard Law PC represents people from all backgrounds and walks of life who are considering bankruptcy as a way to deal with overwhelming mortgage, credit card or other types of debt. Our Oceanside personal bankruptcy attorneys start each case by helping clients calculate whether bankruptcy is their best option, taking into account their assets, debts, income and priorities. If it is, we guide clients through the complicated legal and financial decisions that lie ahead, working to maximize the assets they can protect. We want each client to leave bankruptcy with not only a chance to start again, but the tools to do so successfully.

If you're so deep in debt that you can't think of a realistic way to pay it all back, you should call Howard Law to discuss your legal options. To learn more or set up a free consultation, send us an email or call 1-800-872-5925 today.