More than $13 million owed to creditors by Waterway Houseboats

List of creditors includes banks, local contractors and the District of Sicamous

According to a list of creditors, Waterway Houseboats Ltd. and Vinco Holdings Ltd. owed more $13 million when receivership came into effect.

Much of that debt was owed to CIBC, the bank which pursued the receivership in BC Supreme Court.

The creditors list was published by Alvarez and Marsal Canada, the receiver appointed in the Waterway case.

The document is described as a preliminary list of creditors as of June 11, submitted by Waterway, the debtors. The list contains more than 700 creditors ranging from national banks and large utility companies like BC Hydro, to individual people.

The total due to all creditors listed is $13,392,543. Of this total, $7,969,327 is listed as due to CIBC, care of Blake Cassels and Graydon LLP, a Vancouver law firm.

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A notice and statement of the receiver, published alongside the creditors, states the book value of Waterway’s assets is estimated at $13,331,696. The statement notes the realizable value of the assets may be different than that estimate.

According to the list, the District of Sicamous is owed $83,991. Kelly Bennett, the district’s chief financial officer, said the outstanding funds are due to unpaid taxes, but noted the company’s utility bills are up to date. Bennett said the receiver has not been in touch about paying the taxes yet.

Local contractors who worked on the Waterway boats and property have also been left wondering if and when they will be paid. One such contractor, Albatros Plumbing Heating and Gas Fitting Ltd., is due $24,603 according to the creditor list.

“People are owed a lot of money and nobody is getting paid is basically what it boils down to,” said Marco Warger, Albatros owner.

Warger said he has been speaking with the receiver about his prospects for getting paid. He noted the receiver has been helpful and open to answering questions from creditors. Warger said he and the rest of the contractors are unsecured creditors and will not be paid until the secured creditors, CIBC and the Bank of Nova Scotia, have received their due.

The lack of payment has hit Warger’s small business hard and he said other local contractors are in the same boat. Warger said he was working at Waterway the week before the receivership was finalized and other contractors were there the day of. Warger had worked for Waterway over the last seven years and said the houseboat company had been honest and good to work for.

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Also awaiting money are those who had booked vacations with Waterway and paid up front as their sailing date drew closer.

Consumer Protection BC provided a list of procedures which it says can help those whose trips with Waterway were abruptly cancelled.

The consumer protection agency recommends those seeking a refund start by getting their paperwork in order. It is recommended they get copies of the contract for travel services if they received one. Copies of all receipts, booking information, itineraries and proof of payment such as a bank statement are important, as are copies of any correspondence related to the situation.

The second step recommended to customers by Consumer Protection BC is requesting a chargeback through their credit card provider. A post on Consumer Protection BC’s website states it believes all customers impacted by Waterway’s closure received a letter dated June 6 from the company’s president. The post recommends that those seeking a chargeback include a copy of the letter and the receivership order.

The receivership order and other documents related to the Waterway shutdown can be found on the receiver’s website at www.alvarezandmarsal.com/waterway.

Similar steps can be used for obtaining reimbursement through travel insurance.

Consumer Protection BC states those customers who are denied the chargeback from their credit card or travel insurance provider and booked directly through Waterway should confirm the receiver is aware of their claim. It is recommended they consult the creditor list to make sure they appear on it.

Alvarez and Marsal did not respond to a request for comment.


@SalmonArm
jim.elliot@saobserver.net

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