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U.S. Bank suing Liberace Museum over $1.9M loan

The Liberace Museum in Las Vegas, which is dedicated to memorabilia once belonging to the legendary musician, has fallen on hard times lately, having not been open for business since October 2010. Now the foundation that operated the museum is facing a lawsuit from U.S. Bank over a $1.9 million lawsuit that the bank claims has not been paid on since early this year. If the foundation fails to pay off or settle the debt, it could lose the museum’s contents, as well as trademarks and trade names associated with it.

Opening in 1979, the Liberace Museum enjoyed solid business, with a peak of 450,000 visitors per year. But the 2008 recession — and, perhaps, the passage of time — reduced interest in visiting a museum dedicated to the famously flamboyant performer. By the time he Liberace Foundation for the Performing and Creative Arts, the organization that owns the strip mall where the museum is located, announced an indefinite shuttering in 2010, the museum was down to fewer than 50,000 annual visitors.

U.S. Bank holds the note on the loan, which the Liberace Foundation took out in May 2000. As collateral, the foundation put up “all goods building and other materials, supplies equipment, machinery, fixtures” and other property, plus trade names and trademarks. The foundation was supposed to make payments on the loan monthly until June 1, 2020. However, U.S. Bank contends, the payment for February never arrived and no payments have been made since. The bank issued default notices on Aug. 21 and Sep. 19, as well as a notice of acceleration on Aug. 29. Now it has taken the next step of filing in Clark County District Court seeking repayment of the balance of the loan.

Source: Las Vegas Sun, “Liberace Foundation faces lawsuit over $1.9 million loan,” Dave Toplikar, Sep. 25, 2012

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John P. Aldrich
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