Vessel Acquisition, Financing and Maritime Creditors' Rights

At the St. Louis, Missouri-based, law firm Goldstein and Price, L.C., we have extensive experience representing financiers and vessel owners concerning maritime creditors' rights issues. We also represent clients in vessel acquisition and vessel financing matters.

We assist:

  • Banks, financiers, agribusiness interests, maritime companies and large national law firms in the preparation and enforcement of first preferred ship mortgages and other maritime lien claims.
  • Buyers, sellers, owners and charterers in the acquisition, transfer and proper documentation of vessels (e.g., ships, barges, towboats, boats) and other marine equipment.
  • Owners, operators, banks, financiers and insurance companies concerning the legal aspects of managing risk for maritime transactions.

By way of example:

  • When a major barge line sold its fleet of more than 2,000 barges and towboats, we were retained to re-document the vessels with the U.S. Coast Guard.
  • When the largest barge line in America entered bankruptcy, we were hired by many of its creditors to enforce their maritime liens.
  • When a lender wanted to finance the purchase of millions of dollars of gaming equipment to be installed on a gambling boat, we were asked for guidance concerning how to properly secure the debt.

Maritime Creditors' Rights
When banks and financial institutions lend money to finance the construction of ships and other marine assets, the maritime creditors' rights issues they face are much different from those they encounter when they lend money for land-based transactions. For example, the loan agreement and state filing that protects a bank when it loans funds for the construction of land-based assets may be of little consequence when the borrower is instead building a barge, towboat, or cruise ship. To protect its rights, the creditor typically needs a first preferred ship mortgage, a security instrument that is prepared, recorded and enforced in a much different manner.