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Kruse suing auction customers to collect debts

AUBURN, Ind. (AP) – Embattled auto auction house Kruse International is suing some of its customers to try to recoup millions of dollars as it faces legal pressure over its own debts.

Auburn-based Kruse has filed lawsuits in DeKalb County seeking more than $2 million. The auction house says it is owed $6.7 million by customers.

Kruse spokeswoman Kelley Ellert says the company plans to file five to 15 additional lawsuits over the next several weeks.

Kruse faces several lawsuits, including one by a Kansas bank alleging auctioneer Dean Kruse violated terms of a loan on which he still owes $6.5 million and another claiming Kruse defaulted on a $7.8 million debt.

The auctioneer told The Journal Gazette of Fort Wayne, Ind., in August that the recession has hurt his sales.


Information from: The Journal Gazette,

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AP-CS-01-03-10 1005EST