Re: Trust Documents


Gary -

Did you ever see a TITLE document for a freight car? These did not
exist in STMFC times, and not even in 1982. Sure, there are plenty
of lengthy written agreements regarding who owns a car, with copies
kept by the lender and the owner, but no TITLE DOCUMENT. I know this
sounds like just semantics, but consider titles to real property.
The existence of a lien on real estate is determined by what is
described in the title document (aka deed) at the courthouse. In
1982, the ICC said they did not have any of the actual documents
evidencing title to freight equipment, nor were they acting as
clearinghouse for anything but equipment leases.

A.T. Kott

--- In STMFC@..., "gary laakso" <vasa0vasa@...> wrote:

Well, my experience handling equipment leases, sales and re-
financings in the Southern Pacific Law Department for 20 years and 10
years for RailAmerica was that the ICC had files on title and liens
for locomotives and rolling stock and that I had to have our ICC
counsel search title for all equipment that was sold as part of
rebuilding projects for both locomotives and rolling stock. The
recordation system was designed to preserve the rights of lenders in
the equipment in all the too frequent railroad bankruptcies, esp in
the 1930s and later and avoid any lender paying for equipment under a
loan or lease with another lender.
I worked on Trust Agreements and in those documents, the multiple
lenders agreed upon a bank as the "trustee" to administer the terms
of the financing for the equipment. SP, of course, paid all of the
trustee's fees!
If a unit was destroyed, the financing agreement contained a chart
with the valuations and they always started at 104% or more since
legal and tax costs were included that were amortized over time.
Most of the time , it was much easier for all concerned if a unit was
substituted for the destroyed unit that was free and clear of any
My experience certainly was different then what you describe.

----- Original Message -----
From: proto48er
To: STMFC@...
Sent: 12/19/2008 7:12:39 PM
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Trust Plates

Gary -

There were NO title documents for railroad rolling stock (at least
STMFC times - not sure about today, now that the ICC is gone).
was NO recording of title documents of this type at the ICC when it
still was in existence. I did a paper on this subject in law school
1982 - ICC had no title documents then, and said that they never
done that, as far as anyone at the agency remembered.

The "trust" was not actually a trust document, but rather a
between lender and purchaser with the collateral secured by the
equipment, as evidenced by the trust plate. In earlier times, it
have actually been a trust agreement - they were unable to locate
an agreement at the ICC in 1982.

A.T. Kott

--- In STMFC@..., "gary laakso" <vasa0vasa@> wrote:

The caveat is that title documents are recorded at the Interstate
Commerce Commission so that any lender will have a title check run
see if there are any liens on the equipment. This usually arises in
the sale of the cars by the lender or a refinancing to rebuild the

gary laakso
south of Mike Brock

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