Linde Construction, Inc. filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on June 4, 2021, amidst significant outstanding debts for the California-based construction company.
The company’s filing lists $1,150,000 in assets — all of which come from property holdings — while also disclosing $1,483,898.01 in total liabilities.
A number of Linde Constructions debts are held by other contractors and suppliers, with at least $822,199.62 of the listed debts going to other businesses in the construction industry.
Bankruptcy documents show that, despite the company’s large revenue intake during the operational year, the company may have effectively ceased operations at the end of 2019 — despite the fact that many contractors who have worked with the company claim to still be seeking payment.
Bank accounts were closed out in December 2019 with empty balances, and a December 2019 transfer notes that construction materials and office furnishings were given to “various employees…upon closing of the Corporation” that month, further calling the company’s status into question.
The company began operations in late 2017, and according to comments made in a 2017 video by then-CEO Chris Linde, the company had worked on at least $1.2 million in projects in the year. Looking forward, Linde claimed that the company had already contracted $3 million in advance projects for 2018.
A 2018 profile described the company as “one of Southern California’s foremost go-to construction firms,” and added that “In its first complete year (2017), Linde Construction completed over 40 projects of varying scope and scale” with multiple large-scale projects planned for the coming years.
Additionally, Linde Construction claimed revenue of $2,116,795.00 during 2019 — indicating what should be a profitable business.
Available overviews of the company emphasise its nature as a family-owned small business focusing on the smaller areas of Upland and Montclair. The company’s Blue Book Building and Construction Network profile notes that “As a small business, we pride ourselves in working closely with clients to deliver projects within schedule and budget, and at an exceptional level of quality.”
In contrast, the company’s profiles also put emphasis on the ownership’s background in large Los Angeles construction, noting that “With over fifteen years of experience in high level construction management, our President/CEO Chris Linde is a hands-on, client-oriented professional who has overseen complex, $200+ Million commercial renovations, including historic building re-engineering, throughout the greater Los Angeles area.”
Another recent profile on Chris Linde claims that “for the last few years” Linde Construction has offered “both large tenant improvement and ground-up projects with multi-million dollar budgets…where [the company] prides [itself] for coming in on schedule and within the budget.”
Nine projects listed by Amber Linde show a major focus on tenant improvement for the company from April 2017 to March 2018.
However, this aforementioned profile also comes as Chris Linde is now working as Vice President of Field Operations and Business Development for the Orange County-based MTL Construction Services, Inc., with Amber Linde now listed as Linde Construction’s president.
Additionally, the two are currently involved in a pending arbitration and breach of contract lawsuit, with Amber Linde as the plaintiff and Chris Linde as the defendant.
Issues prior to the bankruptcy have affected subcontractors, suppliers, and workers alike
Notably, recent comments made by contractors to Levelset about Linde Construction make harsh assessments about the company’s leadership, with one contractor calling them “One of the worst in the industry,” and another making the inflammatory claim that they are “Complete scams [sic] artists!”
The subcontractor continued by saying that they “Can’t believe how many sub-contractors got screwed by these guys, including my company! The owners Chris & Amber deserve to be locked up!”
Other contractors were just as emphatic in their complaints with the company, complaining of payment issues: “I’m still working with the State of California to collect what is owed to our service company. These people are the difficult [sic] – DO NOT WORK FOR THIS CONTRACTOR OR ANY CONTRACTOR WHICH RELIES ON PAYMENT FROM LINDE CONST. YOU WILL NOT BE PAID.”
These issues have extended into Linde Construction’s legal situation as well: Linde Construction is currently a defendant in eight pending lawsuits over breach of contract, the majority of which also featuring other contractors as plaintiffs. In addition, the company has also recently been involved in four lawsuits over unpaid labor and wages, three of which are still pending.
According to the filing, all listed asset holdings all come from breach of contract claims made against a number of property holders, specifically listing Ascent, LLC, Mycer Holdings, Aeon Micro, DoubleTree Pomona, and Charter Communications.
The company’s Chapter 7 filing may make it difficult for some creditors to receive payment — bankruptcy documents note that the company does not expect to have funds available to unsecured creditors. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is known as “liquidation” bankruptcy, as it doesn’t allow for reorganization. Instead, it requires a company to sell its nonexempt assets and use the proceeds to pay off its creditors, essentially bringing an end to its operations.