LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A Louisville apartment complex not paying its bills. And some surprising information about why local businesses are owed so much money, as one of the properties owners blame media coverage for their mounting financial problems.
Things have gotten so bad for United Express Cleaning owner Brenton Wombles has hired private investigators as he tries to collect thousands of dollars in past due bills owed for work done at Blue Diamond Apartments off of Blue Lick Road.
"They're just stealing from people," Wombles said. "They don't want to pay anybody they know they're in bad shape, they can't afford to do anything."
Can't afford to pay Wombles or a number of other local businesses. Blue Diamond Apartments owe tens of thousands of dollars to various companies around Louisville.
Property manager Donnie Whitaker said his property management company, Strategic Properties, is also owed money by Blue Diamond Apartments. Whitaker said his company has stayed on the job in hopes of getting paid by owner, who Whitaker identified as WK Holdings.
WK Holdings Chief Financial Officer, Julian Blumenthal, is a minority stakeholder in Blue Diamond Apartments. He said Blue Diamond got behind on its bills after they had problems collecting rent.
Blumenthal said public complaints from vendors who are owed money is only making things worse.
"All the publicity is driving away traffic," Bluementhal said.
Blumenthal claims potential tenants have been scared off by the negative coverage. He said rent collection dropped an additional 20% in December.
And was down $30,000 in all.
"They have done a tremendous amount of damage to themselves," Blumenthal said in a phone interview from his office in New Jersey. "This is only going to make things substantially worse."
Blumenthal said vendors need to be patient while he figures out a way to catch up on the unpaid bills. Wombles, and others, say they ran out of patience, long ago.
"We're actually getting ready to file a lawsuit at this point," Wombles said. "We're out a lot of money. We're not a big business. We don't know what else to do at this point."
Whitaker said WK Holdings is trying to restructure its loan to free up about $80,000 to pay some of its outstanding bills. But Whitaker said the first companies to get paid will probably be the ones that have stayed quiet about the money they are owed, leaving the rest of the vendors no choice but to press forward with legal action.