Small business owners in Eugene, Oregon may be reluctant to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy even if they are not doing well on a financial level. However, all business owners should be aware of the fact that Chapter 7 involuntary petitions can be filed against them.
Sho Dozono, a prominent Oregonian businessman who had a mayoral run in 2008, is the target of an involuntary bankruptcy petition. A trio that he owes money to reportedly “jumped the gun”, according to Dozono, and filed for this petition despite the fact that he wanted to work something out. The IRS has also filed a number of tax liens against him under the claim that Dozono owes over $200,000 in back taxes. Dozono has estimated that his debts may be approaching $1 million, and that while he does not have an exact number in mind, the debts are “substantial”.
The trio that is filing the Chapter 7 involuntary bankruptcy petition against Dozono claim that they are owed $567,715, which Dozono does not dispute. The money was reportedly lost when Dozono’s company, Azumano Travel, suffered crippling loses in 2008 when Wells Fargo bank was lost from their customer base. Reportedly $80 million in business was lost with them. While the corporate side of Azumano was sold in 2012 to CI Travel of Norfolk, Virginia, Dozono borrowed the money owed with the intention of rebuilding the retail side. This side was also eventually sold to CI.
While involuntary petitions are unusual, it may still be a potential risk for small business owners who have borrowed in the past. Keeping an eye on finances and lenders is important. Anyone who finds themselves facing an involuntary Chapter 7 petition may wish to contact an attorney for support and guidance.
Source: The Oregonian, “Creditors push Sho Dozono, prominent Portland business leader, into bankruptcy,” Jeff Manning, Feb 17, 2015