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Leasing company wants golf equipment returned from TPC

Posted: January 28, 2009 10:05 p.m.
Updated: January 29, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Two firms that lease equipment to the Tournament Players Club are seeking the return of their golf carts and course-trimming machines because they haven’t received payment.

But a spokeswoman for The Newhall Land and Farming Company said the equipment will remain in place as the case unfolds in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the District of Delaware.

“A bankruptcy is a very fluid process,” said Marlee Lauffer, spokeswoman for the 125-year-old company that owns the golf course. “There are a lot of documents that have to be looked at and reviewed.”

“The equipment will continue to be utilized, and there will be no changes in services at TPC,” Lauffer said Wednesday.

Court documents filed by at least two leasing firms in the LandSource Communities Development LLC bankruptcy case ask the judge to rule on outstanding money they allege is owed to them.

Lauffer said the court will decide what TPC is to pay for its leases.

“Regardless, the equipment will continue to be utilized by TPC and the outcome of the (court) process will allow us to determine what we need to pay,” she said.

On July 5, 2007, TPC signed a lease agreement with Ingersoll-Rand Financial Services, a division of General Electric Capital Commercial Leasing Corporation, for golf carts.

Debra S. Turetsky, a lawyer representing GECCI, filed a motion in October asking the bankruptcy court judge to rule on the “compelling immediate assumption or rejection of lease and granting other relief.”

Turetsky, reached by phone Wednesday at her office in New York, said she could not comment on the case.

National City Golf Finance, based in Cincinnati, Ohio, also filed a court motion requesting the judge rule on a leasing agreement.

On Aug. 9, 2006, TPC signed a lease agreement with National City Golf Finance for more than 50 motorized pieces of equipment, most of them machines designed to maintain the golf course, including 14 “Turf Gators” and more than a dozen mowers similar to lawn mowers.

Under the terms of the agreement, if a default occurs and no rental payment is made, National City Golf Finance, or its agent, “may peacefully repossess the equipment without court order.”

Despite TPC reporting a gross income of almost $4.5 million in 2007 and just over $2 million in the first half of 2008, court motions filed by the two leasing companies report they have not been paid equipment rental payments.

TPC officials reported having no property repossessed.

LandSource filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on June 8, 2007.

 TPC and Newhall Land are among the 21 debtor companies listed by LandSource in its filing.


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