ITIC has highlighted the value of diligently pursuing the collection of shipping industry debts in today’s difficult economic climate.
In its latest Claims Review, ITIC notes that a shipbroker acting for charterers was owed $25,000 in commission by an Indian voyage charterer under a charter party which provided that the charterer would deduct the commission. Having written to the charterer and not received a response, ITIC ascertained from local sources that the charterer was in serious financial trouble. It was also rumoured that the charterer was about to receive a large injection of finance from a foreign investor.
A local lawyer was appointed to pursue the debt, and a letter was sent to the charterer stating that, if it did not pay the outstanding commission, winding-up procedures would be started via an application to the local court. Again, the charterer did not respond with an offer of settlement.
ITIC, as promised, began the winding-up process, and this prompted an immediate payment to the shipbroker by the charterer.
The ITIC Claims Review also highlights a problem of a different nature faced by a ship agent in Canada, which was owed more than C$70,000 by a local company which had been declared bankrupt. ITIC instructed lawyers to have the ship agent properly listed as a creditor, and although there were other creditors, aspects of the agent’s debt took priority over many of the claimants and ITIC managed to recover C$42,998 on behalf of the ship agent.
ITIC said: “The case shows the importance of ensuring that claims are properly filed in liquidations.”
ITIC, April 19, 2013