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Friday, November 18, 2016

Reportedly, the Deadline for Hanjin Shipping to Submit a Plan to the Seoul Central District Court in which its Rehabilitation Procedure is Pending has Been Pushed Back to February 3, 2017

Hanjin Shipping Co., Ltd. was widely considered to be Korea's largest shipping company and the World's seventh largest shipping company when it filed for protection in Korea on August 31, 2016 under the Debtor Rehabilitation and Bankruptcy Act.  Hanjin Shipping also sought bankruptcy protection in other countries.  For example, just a few days after seeking protection in Korea, Hanjin Shipping filed for protection under chapter 15 of the Bankruptcy Code in the United States in Newark, New Jersey.  With bankruptcy protection in place in multiple countries, Hanjin Shipping reportedly went on to unload most customer cargo valued at $14 Billion that was at sea, return ships it had chartered, and sell off most of its fleet.

The Hanjin Shipping bankruptcy cases have been hard to follow because only limited information has been made publicly available.  This is unfortunate.  In most Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases of a similar magnitude in the United States court filings are made available by debtors to their creditors and other interested parties on websites that readily searchable - at no cost.  While Hanjin Shipping's bankruptcy proceedings are at advanced stages, hopefully the courts presiding over the proceedings will order the creation of such websites, so customers and other interested parties have ready access to court filings.

By Customer Advisory dated 2016-10/10 the Hanjin Shipping website, www.hanjin.com, provided information to customers concerning the filing of claims.  Hanjin Shipping Customer Advisory

This was helpful because customers whose claims had been listed in amounts consistent with customer records were instructed there was no need to file a claim.  Hanjin Shipping customers with actual notice or knowledge of this information before the claims filing deadline in late October had an opportunity to review their files, assess whether there were discrepancies between their books and records and Hanjin Shipping's and decide whether to file a claim.

The bankruptcy cases proceeded on the basis that Hanjin Shipping was to file a rehabilitation plan in Korea by December 23, 2016.

On November 17, 2016, Yonhap News Agency reported that the deadline for filing a rehabilitation plan had been pushed back to February 3, 2017 and that Samil PricewaterhouseCoopers was ordered to file an assessment of Hanjin Shipping's status by December 12, 2016.  For the English language news see: Hanjin Shipping's fate to be decided in February

This blog is dedicated to fostering transparency in cross border bankruptcies and so sends a shout-out to Yonhap News Agency for taking the initiative to report on Hanjin Shipping's extension of the time for filing a rehabilitation plan.   It is my hope, especially in light of the political situation in Korea, that Korean news agencies continue to provide information so that customers of Hanjin Shipping and other interested parties coping with Hanjin Shipping's collapse can keep up with developments.




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