North Star Bankruptcy Leaves Little Hope For Individual Creditors
Posted April 23, 2002
GREENSBORO, N.C. — A mobile home company accused of bad business had its day in bankruptcy court Monday.
North Star Homes, which has three offices just outside the Triangle, took money from 180 people, but did not deliver some homes.
North Star closed its offices in Dunn, Sanford and Asheboro in late March. It declared Chapter 7 bankruptcy, leaving individual creditors without the homes they began paying for.
The people who lost money said they are owed a total of $175,000; some lost downpayments, while others owe thousands in loans.
"I have nothing. My savings are gone. I don't have anything," said Wendy Juds of Sanford. "I can't afford an attorney because I have no money now. He's got all my money, I can't do anything."
"They took our money. We work hard for our money," said Maquina Johnson of Fuquay-Varina. "[They took] $2,600 from us. And they knew they were going out of business and that's not right. I don't see how it can be legal for them to do that."
North Star got into financial trouble and lenders called their loans due.
"All the collateral gets repossessed," said John Boddie, the attorney for North Star. "All the assets were tied up with the banks and there's nothing left for the little guy."
During the meeting, some of the creditors demanded their money from Helle and accused him of fraud.
"And I feel as though he knew he was going out of business and he took our money to pay his debts which is not fair," said Pamela Johnson of Wendell.
Helle's attorney said he can understand why the creditors are so mad.
"Many of them have a right to be angry because they put their life savings into their homes and Mr. Helle feels just awful about it," Boddie said.
That is no help to those who hoped for a new home and ended up with nothing.
state Department of Insurance
said that an $85,000 bond filed by the North Star owner might be divided up among the creditors.