Santa Barbara-based Melchiori Construction Co. has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection amid a flurry of creditor lawsuits.
The general contractor filed bankruptcy documents at 9:02 a.m. on Tuesday and listed assets of $50,000 or less and debts between $1 million and $10 million. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a debtor seeks to liquidate its assets to repay creditors.
The filing came only minutes before a Santa Barbara County Superior Court hearing in which Santa Barbara Bank & Trust, which alleges it is owed $9 million by Melchiori, was set to ask a judge to appoint a receiver to take control of the general contractor. The bankruptcy filing puts those proceedings on hold, according to a ruling issued from the court and obtained by the Business Times.
A call to Melchiori’s headquarters was not immediately returned. Melchiori’s attorney declined to comment.
Melchiori has faced dozens of lawsuits in recent years alleging that it did not pay its subcontractors and creditors on time. The pace of those lawsuits accelerated in recent months after Melchiori was terminated as the general contractor on a prominent multi-million-dollar project on the UC Santa Barbara campus.
Mark Melchiori also faces a lawsuit in which his stepmother, Linda Melchiori, alleges that Mark Melchiori’s divorce from his wife was an effort to hide assets from creditors.