By Ryan C. Wood
Since the last time I took a look at American Chopper star Paul Teutul’s Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing a lot happened. Again, as a fan of American Chopper I am saddened by Mr. Teutul’s bankruptcy filing. At the same time and I am a huge advocate for second chances and our right to seek protection under the Bankruptcy Code as Congress wrote it and the President of the United States of America signed into law. I am hopeful Paul Teutul, Sr., can get the relief he desires and save his home from foreclosure. Since my last update I learned that Paul Tuetul, Sr. is actually legally a junior and that is why the bankruptcy petition provides Paul Teutul, Jr. filed for bankruptcy protection and that appears to be legally correct. Who knew?
Paul Teutul, Sr. Has Changed Attorneys
The first noteworthy occurrence was Paul Teutul, Sr. changed bankruptcy attorneys from Michael A. Koplen to Erica a. Aisner on or around April 5, 2018. There are any number of reasons to change bankruptcy attorneys and it would be improper to speculate as to why. Every bankruptcy filer has the right to represent themselves in bankruptcy or hire an attorney of their choosing to represent their interests in a bankruptcy case. See Section 527 of the Bankruptcy Code for more information on that.
Motion For Relief From Stay Filed By JTM Motorsports, LLC
The backbone of the bankruptcy process is the automatic stay that goes into effect as soon as a bankruptcy case is filed enjoining or stopping any and all collection activity such as foreclosures, repossession, lawsuits, wage garnishments and other debt collection activity. A creditor, or party that is owed money or has a claim at the time the case is filed may request the bankruptcy court grant relief from the automatic stay under certain circumstances. Relief from the stay gives that creditor or claimant holder bankruptcy court permission to continue to enforce their state law rights against the bankruptcy filer to collect on the debt or alleged claim owed to them. The most common reason for a creditor to seek relief from stay is unpaid mortgage payments or unpaid vehicle loan payments. These are secured debts so the creditor will want relief from stay to continue to enforce their rights against the collateral securing their debt by beginning or continuing a foreclosure action on real property or repossess personal property like a vehicle.
Paul Teutul, Sr. listed a 2009 Corvette ZR1 as an asset and JTM Motorsports alleges they have a lien, or garagemans’s lien, against the 2009 Corvette ZR1, securing a debt owed to them by Paul Teutul, Sr. The Amended Chapter 13 Plan Paul Teutul, Sr. filed does not provide a treatment for JTM Motorsports, LLC’s alleged secured claim against the 2009 Corvette ZR1, the collateral securing the alleged lien. I say alleged claim given Paul Teutul, Sr. may be able to object to the claim being secured. JTM Mortorsports, LLC, is saying either pay us through the Chapter 13 Plan or give us our collateral back, the 2009 Corvette ZR1. Time will tell how this all plays out.
JTM Motorsports LLC’s Objection to Confirmation of Paul Teutul Sr.’s Chapter 13 Plan
When a secured debt is not listed in a Chapter 13 Plan a creditor does normally object to confirmation or approval of the Chapter 13 Plan of reorganization for this reason. Confirmation of a chapter 13 plan means approval of the terms of the chapter 13 plan pursuant to Section 1325 of the Bankruptcy Code. As the motion for relief from stay filed by JTM Motorsports, LLC, also alleges, the Paul Teutul Sr.’s Amended Chapter 13 Plan does not provide for payment to allegedly secured creditor JTM Motorsports, LLC. The hearing on JTM Motorsports, LLC’s motion for relief from stay is schedule for June 5, 2018. Again, time will tell what happens.
Amendments of Petition and Statements
Paul Teutul, Sr. recently amended his schedules to include many more vehicles and all-terrain vehicles to his assets with values listed. This is 54 pages of changes and provides a clearer picture of Paul Teutul Sr.’s assets. This is not uncommon given for most filing for bankruptcy is a last resort to preserve assets. Again, I hope Paul Teutul, Sr. gets the relief he wishes and saves his home from foreclosure.
That is it for now. I hope to next provide an update that the case is moving along, not dismissed and relief is just around the corner.