Cyfred files for bankruptcy - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Cyfred files for bankruptcy

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by Mindy Aguon

Guam - It's been five years since a superior court judge issued a judgment against Cyfred for the installation of a sewer system in the Gill-Baza Subdivision in Yigo. After numerous lawsuits and appeals, residents are no closer to having a subdivision than they were when they first filed suit nearly a decade ago.

"The status of the Gill-Baza circumstances for people who own property within the subdivision is right now unclear," noted Attorney Curtis Van De Veld. Despite a September 2006 judgment that ordered Cyfred to pay $580,000 for the installation of a sewer system, residents like Kini and Iowanna Sananap and dozens others are no where near seeing that become a reality. "They got the judgment and they promised based upon that that they were going to install the sewer system," added the attorney.

"I told the court there was no way they were going to do that. Mr [Wayson] Wong said absolutely by December 31, 2006 we will have that sewer system installed whether Cyfred pays the judgment or not. That time has long come and gone and it didn't happen."

As far as the judgment, residents aren't likely to see that money either as the Guam Supreme Court has determined that Cyfred is entitled to offset that $580,000 judgment with what residents owe for the lots since many stopped paying years ago. "So then there would be nothing that Cyfred would owe because of what it's entitled to for having prevailed on the faults claims that were made against it," Van De Veld said.

Attorney Van De Veld says because the amount owed by the residents is more than the judgment itself, stating, "That's essentially the case - that they're going to have to pay for it themselves and its because of the fact that they pursued claims against Cyfred at trial of which there was no legitimacy in pursuing those claims."

To make things worse, even if Cyfred had the ability to pay the judgment, everything is on hold indefinitely as Cyfred filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy last month. Van De Veld isn't representing Cyfred in the bankruptcy matter, as he has his own $900,000 judgment against his client for legal fees from the Sananaps and related civil suits.

KUAM News asked him if part of this bankruptcy proceeding would be that Cyfred would try to claim these residents' lots as assets that may be sold and the residents would be left with no home, to which he replied, "Those are some very good questions that would probably be answered by the bankruptcy judge, and it's not easy to say at this point and time what the bankruptcy judge will decide."

The residents who filed suit against Cyfred are represented by Attorney Wayson Wong who is currently off-island, but confirmed he is in the process of filing a brief in the bankruptcy matter as Cyfred is scheduled to have a meeting with its creditors on July 22. Superior Court Judge Anita Sukola meanwhile postponed today's status conference until August 4.

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