Denny Hecker Goes Bankrupt

Following months of struggle with the depleting automotive industry, Minnesota dealer Denny Hecker was forced to file for personal bankruptcy under Chapter 7 yesterday. The filing comes as a result of a court decision, which ruled Hecker owed $447 million to Chrysler Financial Services, Autonews reported.

"Late this afternoon, after exhausting all efforts to resolve the litigation with Chrysler Financial, I am sad to say I was forced into personal bankruptcy protection," Hecker said in a statement.

Following the cut of the credit lines provided by Chrysler Financial last November, Hecker has closed or sold 16 out of the 17 he owned in Minnesota and California. Now he only owns a Toyota franchise in Minneapolis.

The litigation between the two parties started in January, when Chrysler accused Hecker of owing $550 million. The Chapter 7 filing announced yesterday estimated Hecker's assets to in between $50 million and $100 million, while liabilities amount to as much as $1 billion.

Denny Hecker said that his business will not be affected by his bankruptcy. Erik Dove, DEH Family Holdings' vice chairman will become the chief restructuring officer and work with the court appointed trustee.

It is the second bankruptcy after his Advantage Rent A Car business went bankrupt in January and was later bought by Hertz.

"In late 2008 as the bond market was collapsing and the recession deepened, Chrysler pulled its credit facilities and demanded full payment of hundreds of millions of dollars that were tied up in real estate, automotive and other assets," concluded Hecker.

"Poor conditions in the travel and leisure industry made additional financing unavailable and options for repayment in an orderly fashion quickly faded."
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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