By filing for bankruptcy, he effectively stalled the bank's efforts to reclaim the Spring Lake Township property on which Sears' mother operated Vic's Restaurant. He is able to continue managing the hometown restaurant, and his employees will keep their jobs — at least for now.
The bankruptcy move stopped the scheduled Aug. 30 foreclosure sale of Vic's and will likely keep the bank at bay for years. This buys him time to arrange other financing for the business.
We have to wonder how this even got to this point.
The story is that the loan document was in Sears' mother's name and, when she died in December 2011, a death clause in the loan meant the note was in automatic default.
Sears said he has paid and will continue to pay on the loan. He paints the bank as being the bad guy who won't negotiate with him.
Perhaps the bank is the big bad wolf, but perhaps the bank is just protecting its assets. Either way, the bank is owed money and no one is entitled to a free lunch.
We're glad that this local establishment won't close anytime soon, and we hope a resolution is reached soon that will benefit both Sears and the bank.
What we can all learn from this, though, is to double-check all of the fine print in legal documents and discuss potential issues with heirs.
If that had been done in this case, a lot of headaches and heartache could have been avoided.
Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Liz Stuck and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to firstname.lastname@example.org or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.