Services — Ship Repossessions
Vessels which must be repossessed create a host of problems for
mortgagees, most stemming from the shipowner's ongoing neglect of
the vessel and its crew. In a typical situation:
unpaid crew cease regular maintenance or even deliberately steal
unsatisfied creditors hunt for the ship, hoping to arrest her
wherever she is found;
essential drydockings or repairs are postponed, compromising
ship safety; and
certifications are often voided, along with the ship's insurance
Although a shipowner who is on the verge of insolvency will try
to keep the ship operating and claimants at bay for as long
possible, the vessel's arrest by creditors is usually unavoidable.
When one creditor takes action, others typically follow.
Unless the mortgagee quickly lifts the arrest, its collateral will
be trapped in what is often a hostile legal environment—a
jurisdiction which is inefficient, enforces pro-creditor lien
ranking rules or is corrupt. In such situations, the ship's
creditors, not the mortgagee, decide when and where to sell the
ship, often to the mortgagee's detriment.
The VessEx Solution
VessEx can overcome these mortgage enforcement obstacles by
performing a ship extraction operation before the vessel
gets trapped in an unfavorable jurisdiction. Although VessEx
tailors its services for the unique needs of each situation,
VessEx has the technical expertise to put a ship's affairs in
order, the skill to resolve disputes and the operational
capabilities to sail the ship to a more desirable location—where
it can be arrested and sold by the mortgagee on its terms, not
those of other creditors. The end result is a net recovery
often substantially higher than what the mortgagee would otherwise
How VessEx Does It
Although the methods used to repossess a vessel are tailored to
each situation, each operation starts with the preparation of a
carefully considered plan and the assembly of a crew which is
appropriate for the circumstances—ranging from a single
superintendent to a full sailing crew. Once the crew arrives
at the vessel's location, it will board and obtain control over
the ship. Once it is in control of ship, VessEx can perform
all or some of the following services:
- Crew Management: VessEx can handle all matters
relating to the owner's crew, including settlement of
outstanding wage claims and the retention or repatriation of
- Claim Management: VessEx will gather evidence
needed for our client's legal counsel to negotiate the
settlement of or the arranging of security for pending arrests.
- Ship Management: VessEx can provide full
shipmanagement services, including technical management,
commercial management, for repossessed ships. Because VessEx has full technical and shipmanagement
capabilities, VessEx can prepare the ship for a repositioning
voyage and sail the ship to an alternate port.
- Lay-Up Management: After arrival of the
destination port, VessEx will install a lay-up crew, prepare the
ship for lay-up and manage the ship during the lay-up period.
- Re-Marketing and Liquidation. VessEx will coordinate matters incidental
to the vessel's re-marketing and sale.
Proven Ship Recovery Experience
to view an excerpt from Seized by VessEx Operations Director Capt.
Max Hardberger for an account of his efforts to recover a ship in Haiti.
Towing a ship recovered by VessEx
Book cover of Seized