Bankruptcy Woes Continue for Danny's Owner

Published in CSP Daily News

Hendon files for Chapter 11 personal bankruptcy protection

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Car-wash mogul Daniel "Danny" Hendon, founder of Danny's Family Cos. and dozens of other local businesses, has filed for protection from creditors under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, said The Arizona Republic. Hendon's personal-bankruptcy petition, filed July 25 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Arizona, claims about $317 million in debts.

Danny's Family Cos. LLC filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for all 18 of its Valley car wash, gas station and convenience store operations in early 2010.
( Click here for previous CSP Daily News coverage of Danny's.)

Among the debts claimed in the personal filing is a $150 million claim by the state of Arizona, labeled "piercing corporate veil allegation." It refers to a state law that says individuals can be held personally liable for some corporate obligations if they fail to follow certain rules.

In addition to the state's claim, Hendon's petition lists about $108 million in business debts for which he had made personal guarantees of repayment, said the report.

Hendon's "secured" debts, generally the first to be paid back in a bankruptcy proceeding, total about $20 million, according to the documents cited by the newspaper. They include $7.4 million on Hendon's home in Paradise Valley and $12.8 million on his home in Corona del Mar, Calif.

His personal net worth is $10.5 million, based on equity in the two homes, according to the bankruptcy documents.

The bankruptcy case of Hendon, a well-known entrepreneur and Arizona native who owns car washes and other businesses throughout the Valley, has been merged with 24 other Chapter 11 reorganization efforts filed by various Hendon-owned companies, most of them in the first quarter of 2010.

Hendon is listed in Arizona Corporation Commission records as the legal representative for nearly 90 separate companies. Those companies, including car washes, retail stores, aviation-related businesses and restaurants, currently employ hundreds of Arizonans.

The bankruptcy filing does not specify what impact, if any, Hendon's debt-restructuring efforts might have on workers, the report added.

Other unsecured debts listed in the bankruptcy include about $8.7 million in legal settlements and judgments. The Chapter 11 documents note that 20 additional civil lawsuits are pending against him, most of them in Maricopa County Superior Court and Orange County (Calif.) Superior Court.