Conservative activist says city government’s actions forced him into bankruptcy

Charlotte Bankruptcy Lawyer Bryan W. Stone of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “What is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?”


A Milwaukee, Wisconsin-area Conservative activist is blaming officials in Milwaukee’s municipal government for his bankruptcy.

Tom Barrett Charlotte Bankruptcy Attorney North Carolina Chapter 7 LawyerThe activist—Orville Seymer—said he has been targeted by city bureaucrats for speaking out publically against the actions and decisions of local officials.

The 61-year-old Seymer owns—through his company ODS Properties—as many as seven rental properties in the Milwaukee area. Seymer’s buildings have been cited over the years for numerous code violations by the city’s Department of Neighborhood Services.

Seymer told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that a city inspector revealed to him that “higher-ups and City Hall” were conspiring to get even with Seymer for helping expose issues with the city’s “OpenSky” digital police radio system, which came to light during Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett’s unsuccessful 2010 gubernatorial campaign against current Governor Scott Walker.

In his bankruptcy filing, Seymer listed some $147,126 in assets and more than a million in liabilities. Department of Neighborhood Services head Art Dahlberg told the Journal-Sentinel that Seymer’s own bankruptcy petition shows he only owes about $10,000 in forfeiture and re-inspection fees.

Dahlberg said Seymer is overstating the impact that city inspections have had on his business. He said most of the regulatory actions were affirmed by the Municipal Court, and Dahlberg never exercised his right to appeal those decisions.

Much of Seymer’s debt—according to his bankruptcy petition—comes from mortgages on his business properties. Seymer owes $742,000 to Waterstone Bank for mortgages on four properties his company owns; he owes another $103,000 to Sunset Bank for two additional mortgages. Six of his seven business properties, Seymer said, have no equity in them.

Seymer first gained recognition as a political activist in 2002, when he formed Citizens for Responsible Government. The group initially formed to recall a Milwaukee County executive over a pension scandal. Since then, the group has become a vocal supporter of conservative causes and politicians and an outspoken critic of local government in Milwaukee.

Dahlberg dismissed Seymer’s allegations that he was targeted by city officials because of his political views. He said Seymer’s allegations lacked any credibility, and Dahlberg provided to the Journal-Sentinel photographs showing the shoddy conditions at two of Seymer’s properties.

Seymer is seeking bankruptcy protection under Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code. Under Chapter 7, the bankruptcy trustee liquidates a portion of a filer’s assets in order to pay off debts to as many creditors as possible. After the liquidation and payment of creditors, a filer’s additional debts are discharged. The filer can then restructure one’s business without the discharged debts and seek to return to profitability.

Seymer is seeking to exempt six of his properties from liquidation, a sign that he plans to continue operating his business after bankruptcy.

If you find yourself needing the services of a Charlotte, North Carolina bankruptcy attorney, please call the skilled lawyers at Arnold & Smith, PLLC find additional resources here. As professionals who are experienced at handling all kinds of bankruptcy matters, our attorneys will provide you with the best advice for your particular situation.



About the Author

Bryan 1Bryan Stone is a Partner with Arnold & Smith, PLLC, where he focuses his practice on all aspects of bankruptcy, including: Chapter 7, Chapter 11, Chapter 13, home loan modifications and landlord-tenant issues.

A native of Macon, Georgia, Mr. Stone attended the University of Georgia, where he earned a BBA in Banking and Finance, and Wake Forest University School of Law, where he obtained his law degree.

Following law school, Mr. Stone relocated to Charlotte, where he currently serves as Chair of “Bravo!” – a young professionals organization associated with Opera Carolina – and founded the University of Georgia Alumni Association of Charlotte.

In his spare time, Mr. Stone enjoys perfecting his barbeque skills for the annual “Q-City BBQ Championship” and playing softball in the Mecklenburg County Bar softball league.






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