Retirement Community Surprised By Bankruptcy

Unsettling news for people living in an Omaha retirement community and their families. Fact Finders have learned "Skyline Manor" filed for chapter eleven bankruptcies late Thursday.

Skyline Manor was to be auctioned off by a foreclosing lender so off duty van driver Art McGrath came to meet a buyer instead he hears another "b" word. Art says, "They filed for bankruptcy."

Bankruptcy documents show skylines top twenty vendors owed a total of one point five million dollars Tom Wurtz the son of a resident says, " When you called me a said there was a bankruptcy filing I was surprised."

Tom's 88-year old mother lives at Skyline and as an attorney he tired to reassure her. Tom says, " From our family's point of view the filing of the bankruptcy is not going to cause us to panic or worry. I think the level of care was good last week and was good this morning." He expects a trustee will be appointed to oversee skyline operations.

Skyline retirement community has about two hundred thirty residents. Many seeing family this weekend will certainly have questions about bankruptcy. One son has already given a mother's day message. Tom says, "Really not to worry. Its just business, these things happen."

Residents getting rides to church or appointments in coming days will have plenty to talk about along the way.

The Indiana-based owner of skyline is John Bartle.
He tells fact finders the action was taken to deal with a predatory lender and resident services are not affected. The lender's attorney wouldn't comment.

Nebraska Health and Human services tells Fact Finders, when something like this happens, it will allow any health care business to restructure *and* provide proper care before it steps in.

Asked about bankruptcies involving health care facilities in general, NHHS Spokesperson Kathie Osterman tells Fact Finders, " In many bankruptcies a trustee is appointed who will, among other things, run the business. The department is not a guardian, but it can keep a "watchful" eye on things to make sure residents are cared for and to enable us to step in if needed. Many residents are competent to make their own decisions or have guardians or family members to do so if needed. If the business can restructure and still provide adequate care under the regulations there may be no need for DHHS to do anything."

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