Trucking Transportation:

Information on Handling of Undercharge Claims

RCED-93-208FS: Published: Aug 30, 1993. Publicly Released: Sep 16, 1993.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the handling of undercharge claims by trustees and other representatives of bankrupt trucking companies, focusing on the: (1) nature and extent of undercharge claims; (2) cost of collecting undercharge claims; (3) bankrupt trucking companies' liabilities; and (4) amount of undercharge collections available to pay bankrupt trucking companies' creditors.

GAO found that: (1) 48 companies initially sought a total of $1.22 billion in initial undercharge claims from shippers due to unfiled rates, violations of the law, or disagreements over the applicable tariff; (2) the average amount sought was $25 million and the median amount was $3 million; (3) the 10 largest estates accounted for $1.07 billion of the claims; (4) the $985 million in outstanding undercharge claims represent on average 8.1 percent to 75.4 percent of the total allowed liabilities for small and large estates, respectively; (5) the bankrupt trucking companies' allowed liabilities included administrative and professional fees, priority wage and pension claims, priority tax claims, and non-priority wage and pension claims; and (6) net recoveries for all estates were about 20 percent of the initial value of the resolved undercharge claims.

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