Former property tycoon Terry Serepisos believes bankruptcy proceedings against him were issued because one man was "out to get me".
Serepisos - debt-laden property developer, former host of reality television programme The Apprentice and, until last Friday, proud owner of the Phoenix football club - lost his final bid to beat bankruptcy on Monday.
In the High Court at Wellington, Associate Judge David Gendall refused to grant yet another delay to the many adjournments Serepisos, 48, had had in his efforts to save his diminishing empire.
The proceedings were initially brought by FM Custodians, acting for the frozen Canterbury Mortgage Trust, which was trying to claw back the remaining $5 million owed on $6.8 million of loans personally guaranteed by Serepisos.
Serepisos managed to stave off that bid but it was replaced by one from South Canterbury Finance (SCF), which was owed more than $22m, which was successful.
Judge Gendall today (Friday) granted a media application to view the Serepisos files, albeit minus a full list of Serepisos' property portfolio, the value of the properties and how much he owed on each.
He cited commercial sensitivities and said it was in the public interest they not be disclosed as creditors included local authorities, the IRD and SCF, all of which affected the taxpayer. SCF itself is in receivership but is part of the government guarantee scheme, meaning the taxpayer is paying some of what is owed to investors.
"It is clear that any loss to those creditors would have a significant public impact," Judge Gendall said today.
However, files able to be viewed revealed Eleftarious "Terry" Serepisos blamed Graeme Reid of Canterbury Mortgage Trust for his predicament.
"I genuinely believe that the basis of the bankruptcy proceedings issued against me is because Graeme Reid of Canterbury Mortgage Trust is 'out to get me' and he has boasted of that to people he has met," Serepisos said in a March 8, 2011, affidavit.
"I was not surprised by what my lawyers were advised because I have had many conversations directly with Mr Reid and that is exactly the clear view that I had from my discussions."
Canterbury Mortgage Trust had earlier this year instigated mortgagee sales for 10 of Serepisos' Wellington properties, plus 20 carparks.
Serepisos said in his affidavit he was "disturbed" by the marketing; promotional photos were taken from a phone and the agent was telling people they would "go for anything, as low as $290,000", which Serepisos claimed was below market value.
In a more recent affidavit, dated August 29, Serepisos was revealed to have 27 creditors to whom he owed $211,670,086. His assets totalled $234,052,000, leaving a surplus of $22,664,414.
However, that is no longer an accurate picture as, by his own admission, "the properties are likely to be sold at a depreciated value, and well under what the properties are actually worth".
"This will reduce the surplus available for distribution to my creditors."
The 27 creditors are: BOS International, South Canterbury Finance, ANZ National Bank, Equitable Group, Asteron Trust Services Ltd, First Mortgage Trust, KiwiBank, NZ Mortgage Income Trust, CBS Canterbury, Allied Farmers, Midlands Mortgage Trust, TSB Bank, Perpetual Trust, Canterbury Mortgage Trust, Davidson Armstrong and Campbell, Southern Cross Building Society, Origin (ANZ Bank), Capital Mortgage Income Trust, ASB Bank, Public Trust, United Homes Ltd, Professional Mortgage Investment Trust, Casa Maria, Placemakers, Accor Hotels, Marac Finance and the IRD.
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