Former Denver developer Bill Walters, who defaulted on $106 million in loans from Silverado Banking, Savings and Loan Association, has filed for personal bankruptcy in Santa Ana, Calif., reporting $196 million in debts.
Nathan Jones, an attorney representing Walters in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court filing, said Thursday that creditors include Manufacturers Hanover Trust Co., Mellon Bank Corp., Silverado and Walters's ex-wife, Mary Lou. Jones said creditors probably will get a fraction of what they are owed.
"There are a few assets available, possibly a few hundred thousand dollars," said Jones. "Bill is a good guy who has gotten a lot of bad publicity. He was at the end of his rope."
In the early and mid-1980s, Walters was one of Denver's highest profile developers. He listed his net worth at $200 million during those years.
But the oil bust took its toll on his real estate and banking holdings. He sold Cherry Creek National Bank in 1988, and it failed last month. His other two banks had failed in 1987.
Earlier this year, Walters told a congressional panel investigating Silverado's $1 billion failure that he was broke, but vowed not to seek bankruptcy protection and to pay back what he owed the thrift.
But a few weeks later, he was found to be living in a $1.9 million estate in Newport Beach, Calif., listed in the name of his wife Jacqueline.
Walters became a prominent figure in the nation's thrift crisis because of his business relationship with President Bush's son, Neil, a Silverado director who to approve $106 million in loans to Walters, who defaulted on the loans.
The bankruptcy filing says he owes Manufacturers Hanover $111 million and Mellon Bank $23 million. Jones said Walters owes Silverado $18.5 million and Mary Lou Walters about $5.35 million.
Jones said Walters has no personal obligation to pay many of the loans from Silverado and thus owes only a fraction of the $106 million on which he defaulted.