The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. has turned down a request for a $1 million loan to bail out Wicomico Shores, a bankrupt resort community in St. Mary's County. Trustee Bill Chapman said the refusal would push the development into liquidation.
Some 850 lot owners stand to lose their investments in that event. Five hundred of these who own their property outright could attempt to sell. "But I doubt they would get $500 apiece for that unimproved land," said Chapman. The lots sold originally for between $5,000 and $12,000. The community currently has 33 houses.
Since the original developer, Robert R. Rodenburg of Washington, declared bankruptcy in May, 1976, purchasers of property have been making payments into an FDIC escrow fund. FDIC's assistant chief of liquidation, David C. Stickerod refused to state categorically that purchasers would get these funds back. He declared only, "Proper distribution will be made after further study to determine proper allocation of funds, keeping in mind the rights of the property owners."
The FDIC became involved when it bought out the assets of the Farmers Bank of Delaware, which had made a $900,000 loan to Rodenburg's company. Stickerod said the decision not to grant the new line of credit was made on the basis of an unfavorable report about the development's future by a firm of appraisers on the recommendation of the person charged with liquidating the development's loan to Farmers.
Chapman questioned the decision because a more recent study by the same firm had shown a favorable outlook. This means the government, in Chapman's words, "is willing to take a $1.4 million walkaway loss instead of funding the thing to where we could come out all right."