AOPA will be closing at 2:30pm on Friday, May 24th and will also be closed on Monday, May 27th. We will reopen Tuesday morning, May 28th th at 8:30am ET.
Get extra lift from AOPA. Start your free membership trial today! Click here

Creditor deadlines set in Van's Aircraft bankruptcy

Creditors including Van’s Aircraft kit customers have until January 15 to decide whether to accept proposed price increases, among several key dates established by the court in the Chapter 11 case. AOPA Legal Services Plan attorney Jeremy Browner talked to AOPA Senior Vice President of Media and Marketing Kollin Stagnito about other key dates and details that thousands of customers will want to know.

Van’s filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy December 4, setting in motion a process that the company hopes to conclude quickly. Browner noted that while “quickly” is a relative term in bankruptcy proceedings, the petition was filed under a relatively new provision of the bankruptcy code that was designed to accelerate the process. Still, it will take a number of months to complete even in the best-case scenario, which ends with Van’s emerging from bankruptcy with operations continuing and a full staff. Van’s continues to operate under court supervision while the case is ongoing.

Customers who paid money for products not yet delivered are among thousands of unsecured creditors who will soon have to decide whether to pay higher prices (an amount that is subject to court approval, and still to be determined) or wait much longer with an uncertain prospect that their claim will be paid.

The court has set a January 15 deadline for roughly 4,800 customers to respond to the company’s notice that the contract between company and customer (including the agreed-upon price) has been rejected. Customers who wish to accept the amended contract (including the price increase Van’s proposes) must submit notice that they agree to the new terms by that date. Customers who object, or let that deadline pass without acting, will automatically join the pool of unsecured creditors, awaiting final disposition of a case that could require a year or more.

The court directed Van’s to send notification of the new proposed terms by regular mail in batches of up to 100, and customers can expect the mailing will include instructions on how to accept the new terms and proceed to delivery, should they choose to do so.

There are a few more dates of interest to customers coming up soon:

  • A creditors meeting will be held January 12 at 10 a.m. Pacific time in the Edith Green-Wendell Wyatt Federal Building in Portland, Oregon. Telephone access will be provided for creditors unable to attend in person.
  • The court set a February 12 deadline for all creditors, including customers seeking refunds, to submit proof of their claims.
  • Van’s has until early March (90 days from the date of the initial filing) to submit to the court its plan to reorganize the company, and eventually emerge from bankruptcy. This will include proposed terms to be offered to creditors.

Creditors will learn more about the process at the January 12 meeting, though key decisions including approval of the reorganization plan, including the terms offered to customers, will be made later.

Additional information about the case, including telephone access information for the upcoming creditors meeting, is available online (at no charge) via BMC Group Inc., the debtor’s claims agent appointed December 7. BMC Group created an online resource page that includes all court documents; transcripts and audio recordings of hearings; a calendar; and a claim form.

AOPA members who subscribe to Pilot Protection Services may request a personal consultation with a Legal Services Plan attorney (Browner among them), for legal advice including (but not limited to) answers to specific questions about this case, how to protect their rights as customers, and insight on the decisions creditors will soon be required to make.

Jim Moore
Jim Moore
Managing Editor-Digital Media
Digital Media Managing Editor Jim Moore joined AOPA in 2011 and is an instrument-rated private pilot, as well as a certificated remote pilot, who enjoys competition aerobatics and flying drones.
Topics: Advocacy, Financial, Buying and Selling an Aircraft

Related Articles