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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

CRIM comes out against proposed HIMA hospital system sale

By The Star Staff

The Municipal Revenue Collections Center (CRIM by its Spanish acronym) opposed on Monday the proposed sale of the Grupo HIMA hospital system, arguing that it is an abuse of bankruptcy law and detrimental to the CRIM’s property rights as a senior secured creditor.

In a court motion, CRIM says the HIMA Group, which filed for bankruptcy on Aug. 15 to restructure more than $400 million in debt, is seeking to unlawfully prime and cancel CRIM’s senior lien without meeting the applicable statutory requirements.

The proposed order provides for the sale proceeds distribution in a debtor-in-possession financing scheme that was denied by the court in August and “this unlawful pretension by the Debtors must not be countenanced by this Honorable Court,” the CRIM said through its lawyer Fernando Van Derdys.

The CRIM said the proposed sale of all of the debtors’ properties constitutes an impermissible sub rosa plan, or a transaction entered into in a bankruptcy case that acts as a de facto Chapter 11 plan of reorganization that evades the requirements of the Bankruptcy Code, including confirmation of a plan and the absolute priority rule.

According to the CRIM, the debtors will transfer to a purchaser or its designee, from the corresponding owners of record, the title of certain real estate free and clear of all claims, interests (including possession), liens, leases, and encumbrances, thus impacting the CRIM’s claims over the parcels.

HIMA recently requested permission to hire a real estate agent to sell the properties, revealing that it has at least three potential buyers.

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