Andrew Winston Schor's $200M bankruptcy petition plays out here

TAMPA -- Although it still falls short of corporate raider Paul Bilzerian's debts of $300 million, Chicago businessman Andrew Winston Schor's $200 million tab is among the largest personal filings in the Tampa district ever.

The ousted chairman of one of the largest apartment ownership firms in the nation is planning to reorganize and is seeking bankruptcy court protection.

Schor doesn't hold consumer debt but rather personal guarantees he made as CEO of Alliance Holdings LLC.

Schor and his wife, Lisa Schor, filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition Feb. 14 in the Middle District of Florida.

Schor's largest creditor, Equibase Capital & Affiliates, a Chicago-based equity firm that provides capital to real estate investors, is owed $140 million, court records show.

Schor was forced into bankruptcy after New York-based Fortress Credit Opportunities I and II obtained a $1.9 judgment against him, said Buddy Ford, the Tampa bankruptcy lawyer who represents the Schors.

"Fortress had him under subpoena to seize his assets," Ford said. "He just didn't have the cash available to pay them."

A full garage

In a bankruptcy petition, the Schors listed assets of $5.9 million, including a $2.75 million waterfront condominium in Key Biscayne, a $1.95 million home in Barrington Hills, Ill., a Bentley, two Porsches, an Aston Martin and five other vehicles.

Schor was forced out of Alliance Holdings in November, Ford said.

"It was doing well, but there were some problems with Alliance and the direction the partners felt it should be going," Ford said. "Once they ousted him, it went in the tank."

The National Multi Housing Council has listed the Chicago-based firm among the nation's top 25 apartment managers and owners for years. In 2006, the Council reported the firm owned and managed 45,681 units across the nation, down from 63,510 units the previous year.

$30M in local assets

Alliance owns complexes from Texas to Nevada to Florida, including property valued at about $30 million in the Tampa area, Ford said.

In 2002, Alliance bought Cedar Trace at 2200 Cedar Trace Circle in Tampa and Palisades in Brandon. Hillsborough property records show Alliance owns Palm Grove at 5039 Chalet Court and San Marin at 3501 W. Waters Ave.

In 2003, the South Florida Business Journal reported that Schor paid $95.8 million for three apartment complexes, including Archstone Woods in Palm Beach Gardens, Cameron Palms in Davie and Park Place at Turtle Run in Coral Springs. A few months earlier, Schor paid $41 million for a Scottsdale, Ariz., apartment complex, according to GlobeSt.com.

Schor, who lists monthly expenses of $61,600 with no income, plans to sell assets to pay Fortress, Ford said. Once that judgment is satisfied, Schor plans to emerge from bankruptcy.

Other debts include $35 million to LB Mezz Lender RTPJ LLC, $25 million to Nomura Credit & Capital Inc. and $5 million to David Husman, chairman of Equibase Capital Group LLC.