The Rome News Tribune recently reported that Larry Martin has filed bankruptcy in the Northern District of Georgia. Larry Martin is the largest property owner in Floyd County. For anyone in the Rome area who needs to rent some commercial space, he is the man you need to call. You cannot drive through Rome without seeing one of Martin’s yellow and green rental signs. I think he owns a piece of property on every major commercial corner in the Rome area.
Mr. Martin expects his bankruptcy to be a positive experience for his company. He is quoted in the Rome News Tribune as stating, “It is a real positive thing. It could be short, no big disaster.” The newspaper states that Branch Bank & Trust has been pursuing Mr. Martin. His bankruptcy filing will stop all lawsuits.
This economy is so bad that even wealthy real estate moguls like Larry Martin have been hit. In 2008, the economy started to tank and has not gotten any better in Northwest Georgia. Thousands of carpet mill workers have been laid off. When workers get laid off, they stop going out to eat. As a consequence, many people in the restaurant industry lose their jobs. As this spreads from industry to industry less and less people buy retail goods. As a consequence, many retail businesses close their doors. This tidal wave of economic slowdown has gotten everyone wet.
This bad economy is certainly not Mr. Martin’s fault. When a company closes it’s doors, commercial buildings usually sit empty for a long time. In addition, the longer a building sits empty, the more likely it is going to get hit by copper thieves.
The horrible economy has hurt many people through no fault of their own. I’m glad that we have bankruptcy laws to protect people from aggressive banks who have no problem trying to destroy a person with collection lawsuits.
I hope Mr. Martin succeeds in every way. Rome, Georgia would not be the same without all of those yellow and green for rent signs.