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15 January 2013

Hotel Lawyer with lender problems on a problem golf course.

A recent court decision points to a critical difference between the way revenue generated by golf courses and revenue generated by hotels is viewed in a bankruptcy scenario. My partner, Ben Young, reports how one lender found out that the cash flow generated from the green fees of a bankrupt golf course was not part of the lender’s collateral.

Veteran workout specialists will be reminded of the old “rents versus accounts” issue on hotel revenues that was finally resolved by an amendment to the Bankruptcy Code.

Double Bogie: Bank’s Security Interest in Green Fees
Cut Off by Club’s Bankruptcy

by
Bennett G. Young | Hotel Lawyer

Are golf course revenues “rents”?

A golf course may look like a solid piece of collateral. After all, golfers will pay good money to play and the green fees and driving range fees golfers pay to play the course will generate a revenue stream. This revenue stream can be pledged to a lender and used to support loans to the owner of the course. Lenders love to finance a business that generates a steady revenue stream, making a golf course look like an attractive form of collateral.

But what happens if the owner of the course files a bankruptcy case? In that event, the lender will want to control the borrower’s cash flow. Does the lender’s lien extend to the green fees and driving range fees paid by golfers after the course’s owner files a bankruptcy case?

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