Mitzi Osborne Owes $1.2 Million in Bankruptcy

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Monday, Jul. 15, 2013 12:00 am  

Jennings Osborne

Mitzi Osborne last week revealed in her Chapter 7 bankruptcy that she owes $1.2 million and has assets of $1.5 million.

Osborne, the widow of Little Rock businessman Jennings Osborne, filed for bankruptcy protection in June but didn’t list all the details about her finances in her initial filing.

In her recent filing, Osborne showed her biggest assets were her Little Rock homes, which were valued at nearly $1.3 million.

However, Metropolitan National Bank has claims against the homes for about $400,000.

She also owes nearly $50,000 to medical providers for treating Jennings Osborne, who died in July 2011 at the age of 67.

Mitzi Osborne listed her occupation as vice president of Osborne Research Center LLC of Little Rock, which provides medical services, but she doesn’t receive a regular monthly income from it. Formed in 2009, Osborne Research has operated at a loss since at least 2011. The filing didn’t show income from 2010 or 2009.

Mitzi Osborne’s only income is the nearly $2,200 a month she receives from Social Security.

Bankruptcy Backdrop

In the months after Jennings Osborne’s death, Mitzi tried to dig the family out of financial trouble.

At the end of 2011, she sold 31 vehicles for a total of $280,000. In June 2012, she hired Blackmon Auctions Inc. of Little Rock to sell personal possessions of Jennings Osborne and his family.

People bought nearly $900,000 worth of items, including $307,015 paid for jewelry. A portion of the proceeds went to pay down Osborne’s loans.

The auctions and fire sales came as a shock to some people, who viewed Jennings Osborne as a man who seemed to have an endless supply of money. The philanthropist made headlines over the years with his extravagant Christmas light displays, extra servings of barbecue and fireworks.

“People are pretty stunned, but at the same time, some people aren’t shocked,” Osborne’s daughter, Allison “Breezy” Osborne-Wingfield told Arkansas Business in May 2012. “Our dear friends know that this had been going on for the past couple years, and it was hard to keep rebuilding what was lost.”

Mitzi Osborne’s bankruptcy attorney, Lyndsey Dilks of the Brad Hendricks Law Firm, said last week in a statement to Whispers that Osborne “has had her furniture, vehicle, jewelry, clothing and even her dishes liquidated.

“Her home has been foreclosed. Still, her largest local creditor refused to give her peace.

She was left with no choice but to” file for bankruptcy, Dilks said in the statement — referring to Metropolitan, which, of course, has had its own financial problems. Its holding company, Rogers Bancshares Inc., sought its own bankruptcy protection earlier this month.

“Mrs. Osborne looks forward to putting this difficult time behind her,” Dilks said.



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