Victory but no money for Christian Kingdom Cooperative depositor

PHILIPSBURG - Creditors in the now bankrupt Christian Kingdom Cooperative (CKC) Efrich and Patricia Lourens recorded an unprecedented victory against the Central Bank on October 30 and are now entitled to $6,032.96 and 692.50 guilders in legal fees from the Central Bank of Curacao and St. Maarten.

The verdict was handed down by Judge Coen Luijks in the Court of First Instance.
The Lourens couple pursued individual litigation against the Central Bank for failing to insure his deposit in the CKC.  However Efrich Lourens told Today on Wednesday that he is yet to see a penny of the money which, according to the court ruling, should have been collectable immediately.
Last Friday, he sent a summons through a marshal to the Central Bank of Curacao and St. Maarten to pay the money and visited the bank on Monday just after lunch to collect his cheque. He had the Court ruling in tow.
“The lady there called Curacao and when I returned at 2 p.m., she told me that Curacao said that they have passed it to their lawyer. I told them he does not have to call me, I want the cheque.”
However Curacao based attorney Brouwers contacted Lourens the same day. Lourens stated that he was then threatened by the attorney that if he does not wait, an injunction will be filed and an appeal of the decision will follow.
“He was telling me that he wants to postpone payment until the entire case is over. I told him no I am not interested. This is the verdict from a judge and if they do not respect the verdict from a judge then it is free for all in St.Maarten,” an upset Lourens said.
On Tuesday Lourens indicated that he spoke with the president of the bank’s supervisory board who referred him to its legal advisor.  Lourens said that he once again rejected suggestions that he delay the payout even after very persuasive arguments.
He said that he was prompted to take his case to the media to expose the further abuse that “the small man endures” as they fight for their rights. He has been waiting since December 2010 to recoup his deposits.
“I am going all the way to get my money. I need my money. This amount they will pay me is nothing compared to the lawyers’ fees that they will pay. Last Friday I served them the papers and within two days I should have gotten my money.
2318 creditors were shocked when CKC went into bankruptcy in December 2010. Lourens had been a depositor of CKC for over 14 years. He explained that like him other creditors are still reeling from the fact that their savings went down the drain but without legal representation he along with a small band of creditors took the Central Bank head-on.
“I knew it was coming, I knew they would lose. I know God gave me the victory,” he said with a confident smile.
Since the court has found in favor of Lourens and another depositor thus far, other creditors will want their money as well.  With a guarantee function, they believe that the Central Bank is now financially responsible for clearing the debts of the credit union.
Some of the sob stories in the CKC bankruptcy include a pastor who deposited €90,000 ($117,000) to buy a building for his congregation, an independent insurance agent who lost all of his savings and is now forced to work for an insurance company and a Haitian national who went from being a successful entrepreneur to working on Front Street encouraging shoppers to visit certain stores. In the case of Lourens, he said that his money was being used to assist in the development of his small business. After news of the bankruptcy hit, he was left without working capital.
In August court appointed trustee, attorney Jeroen  Veen told Today that if the court rules in favor of the creditors, the Central Bank may appeal the decision, taking it all the way to the Supreme Court in the Netherlands, if need be. It could take years before the creditors see any of the money they deposited in the financial institution.
The main cause of the bankruptcy, according to Veen, were loans made to CKC members that still remain uncollected. No loan was secured with collateral. According to CKC two loans were secured with a mortgage on property but mortgage deeds cannot be found and research in the Mortgage Register has not yielded any result yet.  Many of the other files are incomplete in terms of address information and job statuses. Among the debtors were many immigrants; it is believed that a significant amount of them left the island. Others may still be here but are unable to repay their loans. A large loan that was made has been researched but deemed uneconomical to collect considering the lack of assets against which collection is possible.  CKC had or has no other assets as far as the record indicates. The Receiver’s also filed a substantial claim in the estate as a preferential creditor.
As much as he hates the further delay an appeal of the verdict could result in, Lourens said that with Christ as his advocate, he will win once again.
“We took Country St. Maarten to Court but Country St. Maarten is not liable for the things that happened then, but Curacao is. So if they decide to take this to the higher court, we will take Curacao to court as the representative and beneficiary of the former Netherlands Antilles.”
(SXM Today newspaper)


Gedupeerden CKC faillissement eisen uitbetaling Centrale Bank

PHILIPSBURG — Twee personen die hun geld hebben gestort in de failliet verklaarde Christian Kingdom Cooperative (CKC) willen dat de gemeenschappelijke Centrale Bank van Curaçao en Sint Maarten hen conform een vonnis van de rechtbank uitbetaalt.


Het Gerecht in Eerste Aanleg heeft op 30 oktober de Centrale Bank opdracht gegeven het bedrag van 6889,21 dollar betaalbaar te stellen aan Efrich en Patricia Lourens. Dit bedrag komt overeen met stortingen die zij hebben verricht evenals de gerechtskosten van 692,50 dollar. De gelden moesten direct uitbetaald worden.
Het hof heeft uitspraak gedaan ten gunste van het echtpaar Lourens en Rosemond Whitfield die ook gestort heeft in het nu failliete fonds, omdat zij tot de conclusie is gekomen dat de Centrale Bank zich niet naar behoren gekweten heeft van haar controlerende taak.
De Lourensen hebben zelfs een deurwaarder ingeschakeld om de Centrale Bank te verwittigen dat zij binnen twee werkdagen uitbetaling via de bank eisen, maar heeft nog niets ontvangen.
Volgens de verklaring van Efrich Lourens aan de The Daily Herald gister, is hij maandag naar de bank gegaan. Daar heeft hij te horen gekregen dat de zaak nog niet klaar is. Later heeft de juridische vertegenwoordiger van de bank hem verzocht, het vonnis niet uit te voeren.
Lourens is niet langer bereid om op het geld te wachten en eist de Centrale Bank nu tot betaling over te gaan omdat zij al genoeg geleden hebben onder de situatie.
Ongeveer 1,5 miljoen is verloren gegaan met het faillissement van CKC die haar 2318 leden in de kou heeft laten staan. Volgens Lourens zijn de meeste stortingen verricht door de ‘hardwerkende kleine man’.

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