The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Cops, courts and fires

June 21, 2013

Real estate broker filed for bankruptcy protection three times in 10 years

Criminal investigation ongoing, APD spokesman says

ANDERSON — Roger Shoot demanded financial accountability from people who bought houses from him on contract.

But the local real estate broker apparently didn’t meet his financial obligations as he sought to build his real estate business, U.S. Bankruptcy Court records show.

In April, the Indiana attorney general’s office filed a civil lawsuit against Shoot in Madison Circuit Court 6, alleging that he ran a “rent-to-own scheme.” According to court filings, Shoot failed to pay insurance premiums and property taxes as outlined in contracts, and pocketed the cash instead.

The attorney general also filed a separate complaint with the Indiana Real Estate Commission to revoke or suspend Shoot’s real estate principal broker’s license, and Madison County Prosecutor Rodney Cummings directed the Anderson Police Department to open a criminal investigation into Shoot’s business practices.

Shoot and his wife, Pamela, have filed for bankruptcy at least three times — in October 2003, November 2004 and September 2006.

The initial filing in 2003 was for a Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization, that was converted to a Chapter 13 filing. The subsequent filings were for Chapter 13, as well.

A Chapter 13 bankruptcy involves repaying some debts to have other debts forgiven, according to a U.S. Courts website. Under Chapter 13, a 3- to 5-year repayment plan is worked out with creditors. When that repayment plan is successfully completed, the remaining debts are erased.

Repayment plans were never successfully completed in the Shoot filings, bankruptcy court records show.

Each of the three cases eventually were dismissed when the couple did not make payments required under a repayment schedule worked out with the court. Those payments were supposed to be made to a court-appointed trustee, who requested dismissal on grounds of nonpayment.

The Herald Bulletin reviewed the 2004 and 2006 filings. Records from those two cases allege that:

◆ Shoot wasn’t only selling houses on contract, but buying them that way, as well. He frequently failed to keep up with his own payments, while imposing late fee on his buyers when they fell behind on their payments.

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