Reports Friday from The Indianapolis Business Journal and Saturday from The Indianapolis Star state that Regions Bank has sued prominent African-American auto dealer Payton Wells in connection with his default on a $3.1 million loan, which evidently is secured by real estate in Marion County and auto dealership property in Indianapolis and Anderson. National City Bank, another secured lender, also is involved in the case. In response to the suit, the auto dealerships were closed, although quotes from the dealerships' general manager suggest the closings are temporary. It will be interesting to see if Wells and his lenders can achieve a workout, or whether the businesses are headed toward bankruptcy or perhaps foreclosure. I'll continue to follow the story as it's reported in the local media.
2-1-07 Update: Here's some additional insight from Star business columnist John Ketzenberger. As of today at least, the future of the dealerships does not look promising. But it would not surprise me if Wells and his lenders reach a compromise and refinance the loan (or loans) in order to salvage the dealerships for the foreseeable future. Quotes in today's column suggest otherwise, however.