FFS Data, the parent of Foreclosure.com, has filed for Chapter 11 reorganization, with $27.5 million in debts and only $9.1 million in assets. Its 2009 gross income has so far been reported as $15.7 million. The story broke on SouthFloridaBizJournals.com. FFS Data is based in Boca Raton. Brad Geisen, who founded the listing service in 1999, is its president and CEO. FFS Data also owns ForeclosureFreeSearch.com, ForeclosureDatabase.com and the new QuickSale.com
The financial woes are somewhat surprising, given the current interest in foreclosures and distressed properties and in light of ongoing good news for Foreclosure.com. AIM Group reported, for example, its March jump to number 13 on the Hitwise U.S. real estate site list; and its WordPress plug-in enabling listings on real estate and related blogs.
QuickSale, launched Sept, 2009, is a Web site devoted to distressed properties, which are sold from the site by sealed online bids. Whether it suffers from lack of marketing or lack of interest, the site as of this writing has a total of 61 listings, 50 of which are in Florida, and the others in seven other U.S. states. Its search function is less than robust, but what’s especially notable is that part of the QuickSale offer to sellers is the packaging of a listing on Realtor.com, a competitor of Foreclosure.com collaborator Zillow.
South Florida Business Journal reported that FFS Data missed payroll for its 50 contract employees on Dec. 16.
FFS Data’s largest creditor is Cincinnati-based Fifth Third Bank, which holds a $17 million non-secured guaranty note plus a $1.8 million secured loan. Boca Raton-based Legacy Bank of Florida extended a $4 million unsecured loan, and Siena Realty Associates is owed $3.1 million. FFS also owes $232,500 on its office lease, to 2201 Corporate Realty Associates. Its largest asset is $4.9 million for a loan it granted to Boca Raton-based Live Data Group, which is also controlled by Brad Geisen, and has also filed for Chapter 11. In fact, Live Data Group is a co-debtor on several FFS Data loans.
We wonder what this might mean good or bad for Zillow and its newspaper partners. We have calls in to Zillow and Foreclosure.com but did not hear from either prior to this publication.
UPDATE – a spokesperson for zillow emailed us the following statement: “We have a marketing relationship with Foreclosure.com whereby we show their listings on our site. We’re just learning of this bankruptcy news, and have not received formal notice of the bankruptcy yet. We don’t know what effect bankruptcy will have on our marketing relationship. “