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Allied Access Sore Subject Between Chambers Bank, Acme Holding

2 min read

The testy relationship between Acme Holding Co. and the leading creditor in its bankruptcy, evident in a two-day hearing in April, hasn’t improved.

Chambers Bank of Danville was denied access to perform due diligence this summer on Acme’s prime asset: Allied Bank of Mulberry.

John Riedel, an attorney for Chambers, brought up that sore point on Sept. 18 at a meeting of creditors at the federal courthouse in Fort Smith.

Lex Golden, chairman and CEO of Acme, explained that the decision to refuse Chambers’ request was made by the Allied Bank board of directors.

Riedel pointed out that under the loan agreement with Acme, Chambers has the right to perform due diligence on Allied Bank and its board of directors have no say in the matter.

Chambers holds two delinquent loans to Acme totaling more than $4.5 million. That debt is secured by Acme’s ownership of the $98.6 million-asset Allied Bank.

The due diligence of Allied was among a string of questions that Riedel asked Golden, but he often had difficulty getting meaningful answers.

“Mr. Golden, we’ll get through this a lot faster if you just answer my questions,” Riedel said at one point.

“I didn’t come prepared to talk about Allied Bank,” Golden said after Riedel kept pressing him for answers about the bank’s condition and its dealings.

Golden, the controlling shareholder in Acme, is also special assets manager for Allied Bank.

Outside of bankruptcy court, Chambers Bank is seeking summary judgment of $1.8 million against Golden and his wife, Ellen, in connection with one of its Acme loans.

In response to the lawsuit, filed in Yell County Circuit Court, the Goldens describe themselves as merely “accommodating parties” to the loan to Acme.

The loan agreement, on the other hand, describes the couple as personal guarantors who bear joint and several liability on the loan.

The bank’s position: Acme’s financial obligations might be tied up in bankruptcy court; however, yours are not. According to the bank, no payments have been made since December 2013.

The unpaid loan balance and interest aren’t the only dollars in play.

Under terms of the loan, the Goldens agreed to pay any legal expenses incurred by Chambers Bank in its collection efforts on the debt. Those legal expenses include attorney fees and any costs associated with bankruptcy proceedings.

Acme’s bankruptcy was converted from Chapter 11 reorganization to Chapter 7 liquidation in July at the behest of Chambers and other creditors.

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