Bean Lumber: Money Woes Fault of Family

by Mark Friedman  on Monday, Oct. 26, 2009 12:00 am  

In April 2008, Bean Lumber did have some good news to report. It announced it was reopening its Glenwood plant in May of that year, but with about 150 workers instead of the 250 it had in August 2007, according to an April 2008 article in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

"It has been a tough past eight months, not only for our company, but for this community and surrounding areas," Tim Bean said in the article.

Creditors, however, were already circling the company.

In October 2007, Financial Federal Credit Inc. sued Bean Lumber in U.S. District Court and accused it of defaulting on several loans worth $5.6 million. It also named as a defendant Curt Bean, who had personally guaranteed the loans. (As of April 13, 2009, most of the loans had been repaid, court filings showed. But Curt Bean still owed more than $1.6 million, according to a court filing.)

The company appeared to be on the brink of bankruptcy as well. Bean Lumber in June made special arrangements with Arch Wood Protection Inc. of Atlanta to pay off a debt of $779,000.

Arch Wood sued Bean Lumber in U.S. District Court in Hot Springs in April in an attempt to collect the money, which had been borrowed in January 2008.

Bean Lumber said in its court filings that if a judgment were entered, it would be forced to file bankruptcy, which its management didn't want to do.

Arch and Bean Lumber agreed to suspend the lawsuit until July 30, 2010, while Bean Lumber makes payments. But if Bean Lumber defaults on the consent agreement, the lawsuit will be reopened.  

Since Bean Lumber filed the lawsuit against the Thomasons, Corey Thomason said, she occasionally speaks to her father, but it's a difficult, trying situation.

"Never in your wildest dreams would you imagine that it would happen to you," Corey said. "You're basically busting your butt all these years for your family and trying to make sure that your family is first. It puts a whole different perspective on things."




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