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EPIC Companies’ bankruptcy filing is one of the largest of its kind in North Dakota history – InForum

EPIC Companies’ bankruptcy filing is one of the largest of its kind in North Dakota history – InForum

FARGO — EPIC Companies, the troubled real estate development and event management conglomerate, on Monday, July 8, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for several of the companies that make up the conglomerate.

This comes after months of silence since they suddenly closed their doors last May.

The documents list hundreds of creditors, assets and liabilities.

The number of people or companies owed money and the amount of their debt vary widely, making it difficult to determine the financial position of the five companies listed in the filing.

But make no mistake, this is a big case.

“These five related cases are certainly the largest Chapter 11 cases filed in North Dakota in many years,” said Mac VerStandig, an attorney with the Dakota Bankruptcy Law Firm.

Months after the difficulties became known, EPIC Companies has yet to issue a public statement. However, companies that file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy often do so because they want to keep their business alive.

“Typically, a Chapter 11 company is a company that wants to continue operating,” VerStandig said.

This could make it easier for creditors to file suit, although this is far from certain.

“Some creditors may see their debts wiped out, others may see their debts reduced but not completely wiped out,” VerStandig said. “Creditors are already going to be very nervous because a company that owes them money is admitting that it doesn’t have the funds to pay the debt right now, but is asking the trust to come up with the money to pay that debt.”

It is also an option for companies that want to continue making money during the bankruptcy process.

“People will pay more money for a property that is still open and visible to the public than for something that has a padlock on the door or a sign on the window that says ‘Closed for Business,'” VerStandig said.

In a case of this magnitude, the timeline is still uncertain, but VerStandig said the lawyers will likely be busy.

“When you’re talking tens or hundreds of millions of dollars, you can bet you’re going to be in that courtroom pretty regularly, month after month, for quite a long time,” he said.

Michael McGurran

Mike McGurran has been a reporter and anchor at WDAY-TV since 2021.