Pavilack downplays owing $72 million to creditors

"So you owe seventy million. So what? My tennis is still getting better than ever," said Myrtle Beach lawyer Harry Pavilack.

Federal Bankruptcy Court Trustee, Robert Anderson, confirms that Pavilack, a democratic candidate for South Carolina's 7th Congressional Seat, owes creditors more than $72 million dollars.

"That is a raw estimate," said Anderson. "It's a very complex case that involves hundreds of properties."

The raw number for Pavilack's debt is from $54 million in unsecured debt, $16.4 in secured debt(mortgages), $3,000 in tax claims and $1.26 million in non-classified claims, said Anderson.

Pavilack's creditors filed the lawsuit 612 days ago.

"You just don't wake up in the morning owing $72 million. I don't care who you are," said Pavilack.

He said he was forced into involuntary bankruptcy after creditors at Atlantic Bank and Trust, First Federal Bank, Crescent Bank and Wachovia filed lawsuits against him.

The majority of Pavilack's debt is tied up in real estate. The once real estate mogul blames his debt on the recession.

"They don't train you for those kind of recessions," said Pavilack. "They don't train you to buy property for $10-15 million and it sells for $1 million. That's never been here before."

He said he used his personal money to file for his candidacy for the 7th Congressional Seat and plans to keep campaigning.

"People just have to have confidence in me. I've been here forty years as an attorney, and it (debt) just kept building up and up. One of my specialties is real estate."

Pavilack did not have an idea of when or how he was planning on paying the $72 million back.

"This problem seems to be bothering you. But it sure doesn't cause me from losing sleep," said Pavilack. "It's been going now for a while."