Finances of former owners of defunct Brunswick fuel company laid bare

Posted May 25, 2011, at 5:51 p.m.

BRUNSWICK, Maine — Two weeks after Conrad and Vivian Thibeault, former owners of Thibeault Oil Service in Brunswick, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection, court documents filed Tuesday by the Thibeaults claim more than $1 million of debt, but only about $500,000 in assets.

Nevertheless, the Thibeaults seek to retain their Brunswick home and several vehicles. They also plan to continue to make monthly payments, despite claiming only $12,611 in annual income.

According to documents filed Tuesday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Portland, the Thibeaults jointly claim $530,138 in assets and $1,049,409 in liabilities, including $469,013 owed to creditors holding secured claims — including Savings Bank of Maine — and $580,396 owed to creditors holding unsecured claims.

The court documents indicate that all assets of Thibeault Oil Service and various parcels of the Thibeaults’ secured real estate were assigned or released to Savings Bank of Maine of Gardiner.

No mention is made in the documents of complaints filed with the Maine Attorney General’s Office by hundreds of area residents who say they prepaid for oil last winter that never was delivered after Thibeault Oil Service abruptly shut its doors in January.

On May 13, Assistant Attorney General Linda J. Conti said that while an investigation concluded that Thibeault Oil Service closed “due to mismanagement,” the Attorney General’s Office would pursue no further criminal action against the firm because there simply is no money to be had.

Among creditors holding secured claims of $580,396 are:

— Bank of America ($117,309) for the outstanding balance owed on a Winnebago recreational vehicle.

— Savings Bank of Maine ($168,000) for the mortgage on a Church Road residence and a home equity line taken in November 2009 against the residence.

— Town and Country Federal Credit Union ($6,881), for a business loan taken in June 2009.

— Bank of the West for the outstanding balance owed on a Rinker boat.

Among creditors holding unsecured claims are:

— Amerigas Propane LP (Houston, Texas), $116,758; Inergy Propane LLC (Dallas, Texas), $75,271; Resource Systems Engineering (Brunswick), $55,456; Irving Oil Corp. (Lewiston), $49,018; Maine Propane Distributors (Bangor), $47,793; Sprague Energy (Portsmouth, N.H.), $39,371; and local businesses including Joe Gendron (Harpswell), $11,672; George Glover, Esq. (Brunswick), $5,597; CN Brown (Brunswick), $4,434; Redlon and Johnson (Bath), $3,202; Bert’s Oil Service (Bath), $2,450; The Times Record (Brunswick), $2,255; and Shaw’s Office Products (Bath), $1,220.

Among items listed as assets on the Thibeaults’ bankruptcy documents are a home on Church Road valued at $275,000, with an outstanding mortgage of $168,000; a 2006 Winnebago motor home valued at $90,000; a 2007 Chevrolet Suburban valued at $13,400; a 2003 Hummer valued at $11,000; a 2005 Taurus valued at $4,500; other vehicles valued at approximately $31,500; a 2003 Rinker boat valued at $20,000; checking accounts containing approximately $1,000; a brokerage account containing nearly $5,000; and household belongings and jewelry.

Vivian Thibeault also claims a 20 percent interest in the estate of Lucienne Theberge, valued at $45,000.

Together, the couple claims $12,611 in annual income, including Social Security and unemployment payments of $5,879.

According to court documents, Conrad Thibeault earned $30,312 at Thibeault Energy in 2009; $31,801 in 2010; and $2,297 in 2011.

Vivian Thibeault earned $70,622 in 2009; $72,138 in 2010; and $5,400 in 2011.

The Thibeaults seek to retain possession of the Suburban and the Taurus — for which the monthly payments total $800 — and the Rinker boat — on which they continue to make $291 monthly payments — as well as household goods and jewelry.

According to court documents, the Thibeaults are involved in two pending lawsuits resulting from money owed: Maine Propane Distributors vs. Thibeault Oil Service; and Redlon and Johnson vs. Conrad and Vivian Thibeault.

Attorney Neil Shankman of Shankman and Associates in Lewiston, who represents the Thibeaults, was not available for comment Wednesday morning.

See more news from The Times Record at http://www.timesrecord.com/.

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