FOR SALE: Heard condos, mansion, jet

Auto dealerships aren't the only things Bill Heard Enterprises Inc. is looking to unload.

Attorneys for the bankrupt Chevrolet dealership group told an Alabama judge last week they also were preparing to sell the family-owned group's beachfront condos and corporate jet.

In July, Bill Heard, the group's 74-year-old president, told the Columbus, Ga., Ledger-Enquirer the group had sold its other corporate jet. During the same interview, Heard said he put his $17 million Georgia lakefront mansion on the market "because my wife and I wanted to downsize."

The mansion is still for sale, but it won't be nearly enough to cover Bill Heard Enterprises' approximately $40 million in unsecured debt. The group owes another $229 million to the floorplan financing companies that financed vehicle inventory at its 14 dealerships.

Heard attorneys are looking anywhere they can for cash. That includes $3.7 million in a trust fund set up for Heard's sons, William III and Edward, who are part owners in the group. The underlying assets in the trust fund are insurance policies on the lives of Heard and his wife.

Asked last week by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Jack Caddell whether any of the group's executives were getting "golden parachutes" out of the bankruptcy case, Heard attorney Robert Rubin responded with an emphatic "no."

"As a matter of fact," he said, "there were three Heards on the payroll, and they all have been terminated."

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