Monday, May 16, 2022

Express Grain Bankruptcy Settles

This post is reprinted with permission of The Taxpayers Channel (Greenwood). 

This afternoon, the bankruptcy court entered an order approving the Settlement Agreement in the Express Grain bankruptcy case. The Settlement Agreement settles most, but not all, of the disputes between Farmers, EG, and the warehouse receipt holders about who has an interest in the grainproceeds in the bankruptcy estate.

The court did so without adding any of the "protective language" urged by various Farmer Groups.

The court also ruled that the Disclaiming Farmers are indeed "parties" to the Settlement Agreement, and they cannot withdraw their "Farmer Election" forms that they previously filed.

The court ruled that it does not have jurisdiction to determine the issues being litigated by Mr. Don Barrett's lawsuit against UMB Bank on behalf of some farmers.

All of this leaves up in the air the question of whether the Disclaiming Farmers' claims against UMB Bank are undermined by their renouncing their interest in the grain they delivered to Express Grain but for which they were never paid.

The Settlement Agreement has turned into a bitter fight between the Disclaiming Farmers and UMB Bank, Macquarie, and StoneX over the meaning of the release that the Disclaiming Farmers granted regarding the disputed grain. See here for our previous reporting on this dispute: Travelers and Disclaiming Farmers each respond to contrary claims regarding the effect of the settlement agreement

The Settlement Agreement provides for farmers to join one of three groups by filing an Election Form. The three options are:

Consenting - these farmers will release all claims against the other parties, will be paid a sum of money from the $9.25 million farmers settlement pool, and will receive releases from the other parties, so that EG cannot try to "claw back" any of their proceeds, or sue them for any failure to deliver all the grain they had under contract when the bankruptcy was filed by EG.

Disclaiming - these farmers will disclaim, or renounce, their claims to the grain they delivered to EG, and no longer contest their interest in that grain. In exchange, they will be released by EG from any future claims, and will have their attorney fees paid out of the $9.25 million pool.

Non-consenting - these farmers will continue to litigate their claims to their interest in the grain at a future 557 hearing, and will neither receive nor grant any releases.

Both Disclaiming and Non-consenting farmers may change their elections to Consenting Farmers in the same 10 days. A Determination of Interest hearing will be held in mid-May at which farmers who have not yet filed an Election Form may appear to state their decision.

The matter that has caused the dispute is whether the farmers who "disclaimed" their interests in the grain they delivered, can nevertheless continue to pursue UMB Bank and perhaps others, based upon Don Barrett's claim that UMB Bank conspired with EG to effectively seize the farmers' grain for which they had never been paid. So far, Mr. Barrett has not produced publicly any proof of his claims against UMB Bank, but that separate lawsuit is still in its preliminary stages.

The disputed language on the farmers' Election Form reads:

The undersigned does hereby (1) withdraw any Assertion of Interest filed with the Court and (2) disclaim and waive any interest that the undersigned has or may claim to have to any and all grain delivered to the Debtors and the products and proceeds thereof which are the subject of the 557 Proceedings currently pending before the Bankruptcy Court (the "Disputed Grain Asset Pool") including, without limitation, all funds in any segregated accounts, accounts receivable, and remaining grain finished product inventory.

Does that language, "disclaim and waive any interest that the [farmer] has or may claim to have to any and all grain delivered to the Debtors," extinguish the farmers' right to sue UMB Bank in another court, arguing that UMB Bank conspired with EG to shanghai the farmers' grain?

The bankruptcy court ruled that it does not have jurisdiction to decide that question:

Any potential legal effect of this settlement on pending or future litigation in another forum, including any administrative proceedings, is not for this Court to determine as such litigation and administrative proceedings fall outside of this Court's limited jurisdiction. 

But the court does lay out the timeline of the development of the Settlement Agreement, and concludes that there was an agreement made, and a "meeting of the minds" as to the terms of the agreement, and that the farmers signed their Election Forms committing themselves to the agreement. Only later did questions pop up regarding the effect of the "disclaimer and waiver" to which the Disclaiming Farmers had already agreed.

In determining that the Settlement Agreement is reasonable and equitable, the court took note of testimony that was offered that a full-blown 557 trial, which would take place if the Settlement Agreement falls apart, would cost around $2.4 million in additional attorney fees for the various parties.

Further, the court notes that the legal issues at a 557 trial would be very complex, and involve state and federal statutes where there is very little legal precedent to proceed under. The parties are entitled to weigh the risks of their being able to prevail at such a 557 trial, and thus a settlement is a reasonable compromise of those issues and risks.

Finally, the court found that the Settlement Agreement is in the best interest of the creditors, and was not entered into by fraud or collusion.

A summary of the terms of the Settlement Agreement approved today may be seen here: Express Grain settlement terms finally disclosed: farmers would receive only $9.25 million

The Farmers portion is $9.25 million, while the warehouse receipt holders (UMB Bank, StoneX, and Macquarie) will divide $48.6 million.



Anonymous said...

Michael Coleman and John Coleman both need prison time in my opinion. It's disgraceful what they have done.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Oh noes! The multimillionaire farmers who get to subsidize their loses while privatizing their profits won’t get all their millions of dollars this year boohooo! I bet they get it back in the next “farm bill” that gets passed to buy their votes!

Anonymous said...

Can someone put in laymans terms what this all means? who's getting screwed and who's coming out ahead?

Anonymous said...

If there is any lawyer in this state who can make this “more right” for the farmers it’s Don Barrett.

If he lives long enough the banks will pay.

Anonymous said...

Somewhere Shad sits and wonders how to get some publicity off of this.

Anonymous said...

2:06 : the Lawyers of course.

Anonymous said...

Lol @ 1:29 for confusing a handful of farmers for the large majority of ms farmers. It's amazing you fail to realize that some did go out of business because of this.

Anonymous said...

Them are farmers
Them are not
Oh yes they are
See them empty pockets?
Well I'll be! Them are farmers!

Anonymous said...

My HAT is off to Commish Andy for saving the day once again for making bad people pay up!! Now if he will only form a posse and catch these punks who are stealing our Ford F150s and 250s. You know we are all cowboys at heart and he is in charge of cows so why doesn't he set up a sting operation and enlist some volunteers in the posse to park their trucks in the locations where the thievery has been occurring. Equip the trucks with GPS to find out where they are being taken. He can lasso them and drag them back to the fair grounds and be a hero again. Hope he gets it done before JPD gets the idea.

Anonymous said...

to 2;06 in a nutshell bankruptcy is there to basically screw over the creditors and to protect and reward failure.
rewarding failure in this county is now the national obsession.
success is considered racist and unfair.
just read the democratic party manifesto, the same party that calls voluntary drug addiction a disease.

Anonymous said...

the US bankruptcy code was written by a socialist

Recent Comments

Search Jackson Jambalaya

Subscribe to JJ's Youtube channel


Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS