Dennis Bernard: Life, and business, will go on in Detroit

detroitby Dan Rafter

Dennis Bernard was at a lending conference when the news hit that Detroit had filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection.

For Bernard, founder and president of Bernard Financial Group in Southfield, Mich., the news didn’t come as a surprise. And the news wasn’t especially grim.

“This is an opportunity for the city of Detroit to have a fresh, clean, supportable start,” Bernard told Midwest Real Estate News. “we have all known and have seen this coming for years.”

Bernard points to auto companies and airlines as a reason for hope. Several companies in these industries have filed for bankrtupcy protection only to emerge stronger as a result. The domestic auto industry, for example, is thriving today.

Much is still uncertain in Detroit. The city’s bankruptcy filing is only the beginning of a long process. A 30- to 90-day period has now begun that will determine whether Detroit is actually eligible for Chapter 9 protection. Detroit is seeking protection from creditors and unions that are renegotiating $18.5 billion in debt and liabilities.

Bernard, though, sees a brighter future for Detroit.

“Southeastern Michigan and downtown Detroit are currently enjoying great fundamentals,” he said. “The bankruptcy will only cause a temporary pause until everyone realizes that life and business goes on.”

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