Almost auctioned

Ship brokers were owed commission by the owners of a ship which regularly called at Cape Town. The owners had ignored requests for payment from both the brokers and ITIC. A lawyer in South Africa was instructed to threaten arrest and the brokers received part payment of the outstanding amount.

The broker felt that they had been patient enough and the lawyers told the owners that they had instructions to arrest the ship unless full payment was made. At the 11th hour a message was received from the charterers advising that they would guarantee payment and would withhold payments to owners. The ship broker agreed not to arrest the ship.

Two months later the promised payment had not been received. Ultimately the ship returned to Cape Town and was arrested by the brokers, with the assistance of ITIC. Shortly afterwards two other parties also arrested the ship for unsettled accounts.

Despite the arrest the outstanding commission was not immediately received. A judgement was obtained in the favour of the ship brokers which meant that they could apply to have the ship sold. The prospect of the ship being sold in a judicial auction was finally enough to get the owners to pay their creditors.

Some of the legal costs were recovered from the owners and the balance were settled under ITICs “additional legal expenses and debt collection” cover.

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