Shortly after being named manager of the St. Louis Cardinals in November 2011, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported on Mike Matheny’s financial and legal troubles that ended up costing his family their dream house and forced them to move in with his in-laws.
Now comes word that Matheny, who took his legal battle against Business Bank of St. Louis to the Supreme Court of Missouri in hopes of getting out from under the debts he still owed, has lost his case, and could end up paying back millions, and potentially his entire net worth, as a result.
Circuit Court Judge Tom DePriest ruled that neither the country’s economic downturn nor the decision by The Business Bank of St. Louis to stop loaning money to Matheny and his wife relieved them of their obligations to repay the loans.
Court records say Matheny’s partnership still owes at least $4.4 million.
The group had initially sought to develop a stretch near Boone’s Crossing, across Highway 40 from the bustling Chesterfield Commons strip mall.
After the market crashed in 2008, Matheny said Friday, he worked full time for a year to try to develop or sell the lots, with no luck.
“We kept telling ourselves, ‘We’ve got a couple years. A lot can happen in a couple years,’ ” Matheny said Friday from his office at Busch Stadium. “And it was just amazing how quickly those years went.”
At the time of foreclosure, it’s reported that Matheny and business partner Brett Phillips, a former indoor soccer player in St. Louis, owed the bank in excess of $10 million in interest and expenses, but the original Post-Dispatch report notes that total was more than cut in half by the selling of assets, including Matheny’s home to a private investment company for $1.9 million.
Of course there's a lot more detail involved on this story. Read both the entire original Post-Dispatch article from 14 months ago and the detailed article on the court ruling Friday to get a better understanding of the circumstances and timeline that left Matheny and his family in the position they’re currently in.
The upside here is that Matheny seems to be entrenched as the Cardinals' skipper, which should help his family land on its feet regardless of the outcome. But hopefully a few lessons will be learned — by them and by all of us — when it comes to taking financial risks that affect our families.
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