By News-Register staff • 

Hearing scheduled on plane foreclosure motion

A federal judge has set a hearing date of March 26 on a motion from Umpqua Bank to allow it to proceed with the foreclosure sale of 15 vintage aircraft — now on display at the Evergreen Aviation Museum — that are owned by bankrupt Evergreen Vintage Aviation.

When the bank sought to proceed with the sale over EVA’s objection, the company filed for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11 in U.S. District Court in Portland. Such filings normally prevent any one creditor from unilaterally seizing assets at the expense of other creditors, but the bank is asking the court to grant it an exception, allowing the sale to go forward.

Evergreen Vintage Aviation is one of the few elements of the for-profit Evergreen International Aviation family not involved in Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceedings initiated in December 2013 in federal court in Delaware. Unlike the Evergreen subsidiaries seeking the court’s assistance with an orderly dissolution, it is seeking the court’s assistance with an orderly reorganization, permitting it to eventually resume operations.

The company, which owns the museum’s aviation and theater buildings and the land them, in addition to 15 of the aircraft it has on display, plans to vigorously oppose Umpqua’s motion.

Umpqua is seeking to sell the planes to aviation enthusiast and entrepreneur Jack Erickson, who owns a 65,000-square-foot aviation museum in Madras, for $11.8 million. He has threatened to withdraw the deal if it is not allowed to proceed immediately.

The bank sought an immediate ruling from Judge Randall Dunn. However, he insisted on hearing arguments form both sides first, and scheduled the hearing for that purpose.

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