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NewsTrucking

Bankrupt Celadon accuses recovery company of illegally seizing equipment

Celadon alleges Triangle Recovery Services is holding some of its assets for ransom after the repo company offered cash rewards for locations of the bankrupt company’s abandoned trucks and trailers.

A North Carolina towing and repossession company is accused of holding equipment belonging to bankrupt Celadon Truck Group for ransom.

The complaint alleges that Triangle Recovery Services of Raleigh, North Carolina, falsely advertised itself as a surrender site for equipment belonging to Celadon and also hired other entities to recover equipment belonging to Celadon.

Federal Bankruptcy Judge Karen Owens granted Celadon attorneys’ motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction against Triangle on Feb. 12.

Celadon attorneys filed a complaint in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware on Feb. 6, claiming Triangle currently possesses approximately 50 trucks and trailers belonging to Celadon.


Once Triangle has possession of the equipment, it “holds the vehicle for ransom” until Celadon agrees to pay the recovery company’s fees, according to court documents.

Triangle has since removed its advertisements offering cash rewards for the locations of abandoned Celadon equipment from its website, but the assets have not been returned, according to the complaint.

Triangle Recovery Services of Raleigh, North Carolina, has since deleted ads like this one from its website claiming it is a surrender site for Celadon’s equipment.

After news broke in December that the Indianapolis-based company was ceasing operations immediately, some former drivers abandoned Celadon’s equipment across the U.S.

George Stephenson, Triangle’s general manager, told FreightWaves on Wednesday his attorney had advised him not to comment on the lawsuit.

Celadon says it used geofencing technology to track down some of the equipment allegedly recovered by Triangle back to the repossession company’s lot in North Carolina.

Court documents state Celadon also geofenced three trucks in Triangle’s possession, which it alleges the repo company is using to pick up Celadon trailers scattered across the Mid-Atlantic region.

A hearing has been scheduled for Feb. 26.

Read more articles by FreightWaves’ Clarissa Hawes

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Clarissa Hawes

Clarissa has covered all aspects of the trucking industry for 13 years. She is an award-winning journalist known for her investigative and business reporting. Before joining FreightWaves, she wrote for Land Line Magazine and Trucks.com. Clarissa lives in the Kansas City area with her family. If you have a news tip or story idea, send her an email to chawes@freightwaves.com.

10 Comments

  1. Were they the one’s who woke up a truck driver with law enforcement forcing the truck driver to remove all his belongings and vacate the truck right in the middle of a yard ?

  2. I saw a Celadon trailer rolling down the highway just 3 days ago in the upper midwest.

    It was well marked, clean and looked to be recently washed – pulled by a red tractor. I had to do a double take as it made no sense. If it had been a sold asset , removing the decals seems like a prudent thing.

  3. They weren’t the only ones doing things like this. I just don’t understand what goes through some of these business owners minds when they come up with stuff like this, other than dollar signs.

    1. Especially now that they could do jail (prison?) time for blackmail, theft etc. Not a good idea to be so stone stupid that a judge who could ruin your life has your number.

  4. Noble1 suggests SMART truck drivers should UNITE & collectively cut out the middlemen from picking truck driver pockets ! UNITE , CONQUER , & PROSPER ! IMHO says:

    SPEAKIN OF CELADON who is most likely to get FLEECED in their bankruptcy or any carrier bankruptcy ?

    O/O’s that ignorantly fight AB5 to continue their hocus pocus “independent CONtractor” misclassification have royally shot themselves in the foot BIG TIME !

    Quote :

    Truck drivers have rights after fleet bankruptcies

    “Unfortunately for owner-operators and personal business drivers [Driver Inc.], they are considered unsecured creditors, and they get thrown into the mix last in line,” says Mangalindan. “Often times, they don’t realize any monies from the distribution of assets after all those other debts [secured creditors] are paid first, such as mortgages, secured debts like liens and stuff, and taxes owed. After all of that is paid, unsecured creditors don’t get much, if anything at all.”

    HA ! However, truck driver employees are preferential creditors as opposed to O/O’s who are unsecured creditors ! Another one against O/O’s who lean on and depend on “carriers” through their “independent” self proclaimed “contractor” classification ! LOL !

    IMHO !

  5. I lost about $5000 of vacation pay because I was a dedicated driver to Celadon. I saved my vacation all year until the customer shut down at Christmas. A week before the customer shut down, Celadon bankrupted. Did Celadon pay our vacation pay? NO. I hope Celadon gets it stuck to them the way they stuck it to their drivers. I earned my vacation and I worked when I was sick so I would not miss any time from my job. The original owner would not have treated his driver’s this way. I HATE you Celadon!

    1. Noble1 suggests SMART truck drivers should UNITE & collectively cut out the middlemen from picking truck driver pockets ! UNITE , CONQUER , & PROSPER ! IMHO says:

      Patience is a virtue .

      BANKRUPTCY BASICS:

      A GUIDE FOR EMPLOYEES WHOSE EMPLOYER FILES FOR BANKRUPTCY

      The courts have been good to you thus far .

      Quote :

      Judge Approves Payout Plan to Former Celadon Employees

      The court ruling authorizes Celadon to pay owed wages — but does not require the company to pay.

      Or article on Freightwaves : Celadon Pushes for Exec Bonuses

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