for Conseco Finance told Land Line Dec. 20 that truckers
who have their loans through the company will likely see little
if any change in their notes.
announced Dec. 17 it would file for protection under Chapter 11
bankruptcy laws. The filing - a "voluntary petition to reorganize"
- is the third largest bankruptcy in U.S. history, according to
The case hit
close to home for a number of truckdrivers who have their rigs financed
through Conseco. Many of those drivers are wondering how recent
events will affect them.
had several calls today," Gary Green of OOIDA's Business Services
division said Dec. 18. The callers have asked how the Chapter 11
filing will affect their payments, and who to send their payments
a spokeswoman for Conseco Finance, said truckers should continue
to make their payments as they have in the past, and send the payments
to the same address.
of everything is, business as usual," Coleman said.
She said there
was no way to predict whether loans would stay with Conseco. However,
it is likely that most loans will continue to be held by Conseco
Finance under its new ownership, she said, and will still have the
same terms. But if the loans were sold to another company, truckers
"absolutely will receive notification, most likely through
The story is
much the same on the insurance side of the company: Most truckers
who have their insurance through Conseco will see no change, and
if there were a change, they would be notified, most likely through
truckers should mail those payments in a way that provides proof
of delivery so they are protected if the finance company loses any
payments or records during the switch to a new owner.
this transition period they should be sure and do any payments by
certified, registered mail, and get return receipts requested,"
Green said. The return receipt will provide truckers with proof
the payment has been delivered. Otherwise, Green said, truckers
could face problems if the company says they did not receive the
now, we're telling them to send your payments to whoever you're
supposed to, as it was established, but do it by certified, registered
mail," he said.
discouraged truckers from doing phone payments - even if they are
encouraged by the company to do so - particularly because it provides
no paper proof the payment arrived on time.
though you get confirmation numbers, whose going to retain those
records," he said, "where are the records going?"
that truckers should not assume that because Conseco is in bankruptcy,
they can skip their payments.
of whether these guys are going bankrupt, you have to make your
truck payments," Green said. "You can't stop making them
because they are bankrupt. You've got to protect yourself by making
In a release
Dec. 18, the Carmel, IN-based company said the filing included only
some of its subsidiaries, including several related to its finance
operations. Conseco's insurance companies are separate legal entities
and are not included in the filing.
and operations of Conseco Finance, which is based in St. Paul, MN,
will be purchased by CFN Investment Holdings, a joint venture of
Fortress Investment Group, J.C. Flowers & Co. and Cerberus Capital
Management. However, CFN will have the option of leaving some of
Conseco Finance's assets out of the sale.
The case is
now before Bankruptcy Judge Carol A. Doyle in Chicago, Dow Jones
Newswire reported. James H.M. Sprayregen, the company's lead
attorney, told the judge Dec. 18 that Conseco expected to emerge
from bankruptcy by the second quarter of next year.
owed creditors $6.5 billion related to acquisitions during the 1990s,
including one that gave the firm the largest collection of mobile-home
loans in the country, according to a report from The Associated
Not all of
Conseco's creditors have given the green light to the restructuring
plan, a company spokesman told Reuters news service. However,
the plan has not yet been finalized.
Coleman said truckers who have questions about the situation could
get answers. For questions about Conseco Finance, call 1-800-335-1375.
For questions about insurance through Conseco, call 1-800-525-0962.
H. Reddig, associate editor