As we have detailed in numerous blog posts, the Woodbridge Group of Companies, LLC (“Woodbridge”) and certain of its affiliated entities filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware (Case No. 17-12560-KJC) on December 4, 2017. From the outset of this Chapter 11 proceeding, investors in Woodbridge Notes (“Noteholders”) have taken the position that they hold secured, perfected liens in various real estate deals.
By way of background, beginning as early as July 2012, Woodbridge and its affiliates offered securities nationwide to investors in at least two forms: (1) subscription agreements for the purchase of equity interests or units in one of Woodbridge’s seven Delaware limited liability companies (“Units”); and, (2) lending agreements, some of which were referred to as “First Position Commercial Mortgage Notes,” “mezzanine loans,” “construction loans,” and “Co-Lending Opportunities” (collectively, “FPCMs”).
On March 27, 2018, the Debtors, the Unsecured Creditors Committee and the Ad Hoc Noteholders Committee all agreed on a plan of reorganization that was encapsulated in a Term Sheet filed with the Bankruptcy Court. However, the Term Sheet failed to address whether or not Woodbridge Noteholders who invested in FPCMs do, in fact, hold secured, perfected liens. Accordingly, on March 27th a Woodbridge FPCM investor – retired 85 year old attorney Lisa La Rochelle – filed an adversary proceeding (the “Owlwood Complaint”) in an effort to resolve the looming question of whether some $800 million in FPCMs should be treated as secured debt for purposes of disposition of the Chapter 11 proceeding.