SANTA ANA, CALIF., NOV. 9 -- Former Denver developer Bill Walters, who defaulted on about $100 million in loans from Silverado Banking, Savings and Loan Association, has filed a personal bankruptcy petition in federal court here listing debts of $196 million.
The filing comes several months after Walters, a former business partner of Neil Bush -- the president's son who sat on the Silverado board -- created a firestorm of controversy in Washington when it was disclosed that he was living in a $1.9 million Newport Beach, Calif., home a month after telling Congress he was broke.
The bankruptcy petition, filed Nov. 1, lists more than 200 creditors. The largest is New York banking giant Manufacturers Hanover Trust Co., which is owed $111 million. Walters even lists his ex-wife Mary Lou McGuire, whom he owes $5.3 million.
Walters could not be reached for comment.
Walters was once one of Denver's highest-flying real estate developers, helping to reconfigure the city's skyline while amassing a personal fortune that in the mid-1980s totaled at least $200 million. He moved to Southern California this year after his empire collapsed in connection with the depression in Denver's real estate markets.
Silverado had bankrolled the Bill L. Walters Cos. and federal regulators claim that his company's default on $96 million in loans helped cause the thrift's 1988 collapse, which is expected to cost taxpayers $1 billion.
Neil Bush became the subject of a federal inquiry in part because he approved loans to Walters while sitting on Silverado's board of directors.
Congress has investigated charges that Bush may have violated conflict-of-interest laws because he was a partner with Walters in an oil exploration company. Bush is also a defendant in a $200 million lawsuit filed against some former Silverado officials by federal regulators.