Lenders sue Texas company to recover $6M in equipment

Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau May 11, 2010, 4:32pm

SHERMAN--With more than $6 million in lease and loan payments outstanding, General Electric Capital Corp. and Colonial Pacific Leasing have filed suit against Rodman LLC in an attempt to recover their interest.

The leases and loans were for equipment now being held by Rodman including its subsidiaries: Rodman Excavation, Rodman Utilities, Rodman Transportation, Rodman Paving, Rodman Power & Communications and Western Plains Resources.

The plaintiffs state that Rodman has failed to make any payments under the loan and is now in default. According to the complaint, GE Capital and Colonial Pacific may declare all obligations and liabilities immediately due and payable including the entire unpaid principal sum.

In addition, GE Capital states it has the right, with or without legal process, to take possession of and remove the collateral from premises, to sell the collateral and/or to require Rodman to assemble the collateral and make it available.

The parties entered a forbearance and restructure agreement on Dec. 31, 2009, in which Rodman acknowledged its then-existing payment defaults. However, the plaintiffs state that Rodman is in default of this agreement for failure to make monthly payments.

According to the lawsuit, Rodman has failed and refused to pay the amount due and has moved the equipment to purposefully prevent GE Capital and Colonial Pacific from inspecting and recovering it.

"Based on Rodman's actions and the easily movable nature of the equipment GE Capital and CPLC believe there is an immediate danger that Rodman will conceal, dispose or remove the Loan Equipment and Lease Equipment," the complaint states.

Further, the plaintiffs state that Rodman is attempting to sell or otherwise dispose of the equipment.

Its liquidation value, if the equipment is in good condition with reasonable wear and tear, is approximately $4.7 million.

The plaintiffs are asking the judge that an order of sequestration be entered with respect to the equipment and for an award of actual damages, interest, attorneys' fees, expenses and costs of court.

The lawsuit was filed April 29 in the Sherman Division of the Eastern District of Texas.
Dallas attorneys Cole B. Ramey and John B. Shipp of Crouch & Ramey LLP are representing the plaintiffs. Additional counsel includes attorney Joseph J. Tuso of Reed Smith LLP of Philadelphia, Penn.

U.S. District Judge Michael H. Schneider is assigned to the case.

Case No. 4:10-cv-00219

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