TNCI Estate Seeks to Recoup Some Agent Commissions in Bankruptcy Case

By Khali Henderson Comments
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The estate of Trans National Communications Inc. is seeking to recoup monies it paid to several of its creditors, including some agents, in the three months leading up to its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing on Oct. 9, 2011.

Earlier this month, TNCI's estate filed objections to claims made by some of its indirect agents in the bankruptcy case being heard by the federal bankruptcy court in Massachusetts. It also filed counterclaims under section 547 of the Bankruptcy Code, seeking repayment of commissions paid during the 90 days prior to bankruptcy filing, arguing that they were paid more than they would have been under the post-bankruptcy claims process.

Section 547 is meant to protect against preferential payments to creditors. The bankruptcy code presumes that a debtor is insolvent during the 90-day period before the bankruptcy petition is filed; therefore, all payments and transfers made to creditors by the debtor during that period – often called the "preference period" – are suspect.

The estate is requesting repayment of more than $1 million from six companies identified by Channel Partners as agents among the public filings. One of the companies is Intelisys, from which TNCI's estate is seeking nearly $290,000 it claims was paid to the master agency prior to the bankruptcy filing. Intelisys executives did not respond to request for comment by press time.

Other agents impacted included Method One Communications, Network Carrier Consultants, OnTrack Communications, SinglePoint Solutions and Total Net.

Sources close to the case, speaking on background, said the moves against agents were a baseless attempt by the estate to recoup money for the larger creditors.

TNCI's assets were acquired out of bankruptcy in May by Garrison Investment Group and Blue Casa Telephone under the banner of TNCI Operating Company, a separate entity from the TNCI estate, which is managing the bankruptcy claims.

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