Hearing on sale of First Place Bank set for Dec, 14

Hearing on sale of First Place Bank set for Dec, 14

A Delaware bankruptcy judge has overturned an objection filed on behalf of the U.S. Treasury Department that asked the court to slow the sale of First Place Bank to Michigan-based Talmer Bancorp.

Instead, Judge Brendan L. Shannon of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del. amended sale procedures that the Treasury claimed provided Talmer with an unfounded advantage to obtain First Place Bank at bottom dollar.

With the latest development, a hearing on the sale of First Place Financial Corp.’s subsidiary will go forward only one week later than originally scheduled, with Shannon slating it for Dec. 14.

The change in bidding procedures will increase Talmer’s initial $45 million offer by as much as $15 million, reversing what the Treasury called a “chill” on the process by fostering competing bids that without the amended provisions would have forced competitors to offer up an additional $6 million for the bank.

In an objection filed last week, U.S. Attorney Charles M. Oberly decried “the expedited nature of the sale proceedings” and FPFC’s undervaluing of the bank, writing that the United States could stand to lose all of the $72.9 Million paid to First Place in 2009 under the governments Troubled Asset Relief Program, passed to aid struggling banks and financial institutions.

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