FRANKFORT, Ky. — Blackjewel LLC, a coal company employing approximately 1,100 people in Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on July 1, 2019. The bankruptcy filing caused paychecks that had been issued to Blackjewel LLC employees to be “clawed-back” from employee bank accounts into the bankruptcy estate. The Kentucky Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) encourages depository institutions to work with impacted customers.
“Thanks to Harlan County Judge-Executive Dan Mosley bringing this need to DFI, and the prompt response from Secretary Gail Russell and Commissioner Charles Vice, we are working quickly to issue appropriate guidance to state-chartered depository institutions that assist those affected by the Blackjewel bankruptcy,” said Gov. Matt Bevin. “Kentuckians are known for lending a helping hand in times of need, and I am confident that we will continue to come together to support our dedicated coal miners at this time and in the coming months and years.”
In the wake of the bankruptcy, DFI encourages Kentucky state-chartered depository institutions to work constructively with affected customers and members. DFI suggests depository institutions take the following actions:
• Waive overdraft and/or minimum balance fees
• Restructure existing loans
• Extend loan repayment terms
• Ease terms for new loans
“The Kentucky depository industry dedicates itself to providing outstanding customer service for the citizens of the commonwealth, and a time of crisis is no exception,” said DFI Commissioner Charles Vice. “During my tenure, I have witnessed the tremendous generosity of both the banking and credit union industries, and I am confident each will continue to assist the hard-working Kentuckians who have been impacted by Blackjewel’s bankruptcy.”
For auditing purposes, DFI will note actions granted to Blackjewel LLC employees. Depository institutions providing relief should identify and monitor accounts and loans, and document any actions taken to assist customers and members.