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Issue Season

Fall

Document Type

Case Study

Abstract

In this two-part case, Richard Davis and Stephen Hodgetts, co-owners of D&H Management LLC, are trying to come to terms with changes in the real estate market—changes that have made their rental homes worth less than their mortgages and at best yielding at most a break-even cash flow. In Part A Davis and Hodgetts are weighing the following options: (1) sell all of the properties, assume a loss (walk away with nothing), and avoid the negative cash flow; (2) walk away from all of the properties, assume a loss (walk away with nothing), and avoid the negative cash flow; (3) delay paying the mortgage on some of the homes, allow these properties, if necessary, to go into foreclosure, and in the interim use the positive cash flow to shore up some of the more positive cash flow homes; (4) contact all of the lenders and try to renegotiate the mortgages so as to have lower monthly rates.

In Part B Davis proposes that he and Hodgetts go their separate ways. Davis walks away with the two properties that have mortgages in his name, while Hodgetts obtains the four properties that have mortgages in his. From Hodgetts’ perspective this is a losing proposition since (1) he would have to take over the management of four “loser” properties rather than Davis’s two, an ‘unfair’ split of the liabilities; (2) he had no interest in managing properties; and (3) he and Davis would be splitting up a long-standing team.

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