In our recent

on some of Thornburg Mortgage's legal troubles, we mentioned that the company had until March 16—that is, yesterday—to come up with $4 billion in financing.

With that deadline past, the financial press is carrying word that the company, one of Santa Fe's largest employers, may file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.


In a Tuesday statement, Thornburg said it is evaluating strategic alternatives to restructure its financing agreements, make deferred payments, and meet obligations to bondholders.

The company said it hired the law firm Kirkland & Ellis LLP and the restructuring firm Houlihan Lokey Howard & Zukin Capital Inc as advisers. It also said several of its own lenders have agreed through March 31 not to exercise their rights under various financing agreements.

Last March, Thornburg arranged a $1.35 billion bailout from the distressed debt investor MatlinPatterson Global Advisors LLC and other investors to stay out of bankruptcy.

According to a Tuesday regulatory filing, MatlinPatterson surrendered all of its Thornburg common stock -- 120.8 million shares -- on March 12 and 16 without any compensation. The firm's principals, David Matlin and Mark Patterson, resigned from Thornburg's board of directors on March 12, citing potential conflicts of interest.

Thornburg spokeswoman Suzanne O'Leary Lopez said MatlinPatterson will retain a role in the restructuring. "March 31 really is the time frame in which we are working with all of our constituencies on our restructuring plan," she said.

Here's a link to the company's