OCC Merchandising Division Files For Bankruptcy

OCC-BuildingAnd you thought that the American Chopper human and legal saga ended with the TV show.. Hey no. The merchandising division of Orange County Choppers (called Hudson Valley Merchandising) filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Poughkeepsie last Thursday January 31st. The parent company, Orange County Choppers Holdings, doesn’t belong to the bankruptcy filing.

In 2010, I reported that GE Commercial Finance, the lender of the famous OCC glass and steel building started the foreclosure process after the company missed several payments. At the time, I explained that it was a chicken play between GE and OCC, Paul Teutul Senior trying to oblige his lender to renegotiate more favorable terms for the 2 loans he obtained for a total of $12 million. Reason? Today, the OCC building market value would be $8 million or less. In 2011 GE took the deed to the building.

paul-sr.The company’s bankruptcy proceedings list 1.1 million in assets and $1.4 million in liabilities.  The assets consist primarily of accounts receivable.  The liabilities consist primarily of judgments.  The company stated in that it had no gross income during 2011-2013.

The sole member of the company is Orange County Choppers Holdings, Inc. of Newburgh, New York. Paul Teutul, Sr. owns more than 10% of the company’s equity.

A chapter 7 case begins with the debtor filing a petition with the bankruptcy court serving the area where the individual lives or where the business debtor is organized or has its principal place of business or principal assets. In the case of OCC the Chapter 7 Trustee will probably liquidate the accounts receivable and distribute the funds to the judgment holders in accordance with the bankruptcy priority scheme.

As far as I know, Paul Senior owns part of the land next to the massive building. If he wants to continue his bike building activity he will probably move there.

42 Responses to “OCC Merchandising Division Files For Bankruptcy”

  1. 1 Godfather Feb 4th, 2013 at 7:39 pm

    What goes around, comes around…. Welcome back to “reality” Senior, with the rest of us.

  2. 2 Luke, I am your father ! Feb 4th, 2013 at 7:43 pm

    SHOCKING !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. 3 Chop Feb 4th, 2013 at 7:47 pm


  4. 4 Hockey pucker Feb 4th, 2013 at 7:53 pm

    It’s George Bush’s fault.

  5. 5 Johny Letgo. Feb 4th, 2013 at 7:55 pm

    All rednecks think it’s another Obama conspiracy.

  6. 6 little johnny Feb 4th, 2013 at 7:55 pm

    hey senior
    you can asked paul jr and vinny
    to lend you some cash

  7. 7 Thompson Feb 4th, 2013 at 7:56 pm

    Kaput. The rest is coming to an end, too. But trust Sr. for having hidden and protected his money. 60 Million net worth?

  8. 8 Paul Feb 4th, 2013 at 7:57 pm

    Larry died August 2004

  9. 9 luis Feb 4th, 2013 at 8:04 pm

    SR loves him some holding and shell companies

  10. 10 bigalyts Feb 4th, 2013 at 8:14 pm

    That is why T-Shirts, T-Shirts & more T-shirts are the only the way to make money in the motorcycle Clothing Business. That’s why their called Sshmatees. Just think when they get out dated, they turn em into Rags and then they ecome Schmatees again! Let HD sell the Clothing, and at the end of the Year when they have taken back all the damaged and mis marked and bad buys, they make their money on T-Shirts.Cyril, tell us how you do it? your in the Schmatee Biz?

  11. 11 Patrick Blair Feb 4th, 2013 at 8:20 pm

    Karma biting Senior. When nothing left, Karma goes to visit Junior.

  12. 12 Semper Feb 4th, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    Just a classic American strategy for not paying your debts. The rich are assisted by the middle class taxpayer, because the bank will get back its loss by increasing the rate on your mortgage or other strategies.

  13. 13 Rodent Feb 4th, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    Think any of them will be on the food stamp line?

  14. 14 SteveO Feb 4th, 2013 at 10:49 pm

    DAMN!!!!! Sounds like a bunch of jealous people posting on here. I bet you’re all progressive lazy liberals!!!!

  15. 15 Bigwoody Feb 5th, 2013 at 5:59 am

    Never liked the show,obviously scripted. Not my type of bike.
    Amazed at Rick and Viny’s talents creating parts for those monstrosities.
    Fads sell,24 and twenty-six inch is another thing that will go away.
    Learned to ride on British bikes so appreciate front wheel braking.
    Dragging foot is more raking force than using rear brake on old triumph.

    Made the switch to Performance Machine on current bike. Old man now forty five
    years riding. Appreciate gthe increased stopping power modern rakes have.

    Miss the Tuttle show. Sorry don’t think so.

  16. 16 Rick Lossner Feb 5th, 2013 at 7:27 am

    Pure Manipulation of the System…

    I’m jealous .. bastard has good lawyers

  17. 17 Wayne Feb 5th, 2013 at 7:31 am

    Couldn’t have happen to a better Guy! I hope they take it all from him.

  18. 18 KTMGUY Feb 5th, 2013 at 8:30 am

    These guys were terrible to deal with. Terrible communication, terrible margins, and just poor businessmen.
    Sometimes being less greedy can get you to your goal a lot faster than trying to rake everyone over the coals!

  19. 19 BobS Feb 5th, 2013 at 8:50 am

    SteveO maybe you think this kind of financial shenanigans perpetuated by rich people is ok, probably makes you feel better to just call us names thereby excusing yourself from taking the personal responsibility to find the truth. Which in this case is real easy to see. For us little people if we borrow money, we pay it back. Here dude is claiming 1.4 million in debts and only 1.1 in liability so he wants skate on his debt. Where is the personal responsibility??? Do you expect me to believe that Paul Tuttle Sr. can’t come up with the 300k difference? Do you know what a judge would ask me, he’d say borrow it from family or friends and PAY YOUR DEBT. But since he’s rich and can afford fancy lawyers he’ll get off scott free while the rest of us pay more because the creditors gotta make it up somehow.

  20. 20 GuitarSlinger Feb 5th, 2013 at 9:36 am

    Hasta La Vista OCC !

    I for one won’t miss you ( any of you ) one tiny little bit 😉

  21. 21 Bagger Boy Feb 5th, 2013 at 10:14 am

    It must be nice to make millions over the years of the show, make investments with borrowed money, then when thing go south stand behind the corporate vial and eliminate your commitments to lenders and suppliers that gave them money and materials in good faith and then have to take Penney’s on the dollar., while SR. gets to keep his money.

  22. 22 Mazz Feb 5th, 2013 at 10:23 am

    My concern would be with all the employees that will lose their jobs, after many years of success, it’s the workers who suffer in the end.

  23. 23 Dave Blevins Feb 5th, 2013 at 11:20 am

    Is it just me, or does this bunch simply commit bankruptcy for a living?

  24. 24 JimC Feb 5th, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    I hate hearing something like this,when it concerns the motorcycle industry,regardless of who it is. It sounds like this has nothing to do with the shop itself but maybe I am reading this wrong. The economy needs to get back on track or we are going to continue to hear more and more of this kind of situation happening. It is one of those kind of deals where you need to keep your chin up while putting one foot in front of the other.

  25. 25 Doug Feb 5th, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    If I was the GE lender’s boss, I’d be seriously watching the lender going forward. Look at the size and glitz of that building backed up by nothing more than over-priced, rigid, stretched choppers. It just doesn’t sustainably compute, regardless if there was a tv show or not.

  26. 26 MADrider Feb 5th, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    What they are still in buisness? I am suprised.

  27. 27 Hockey pucker Feb 5th, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    It must have been the Workers Union that brought them down?

  28. 28 G-Four Feb 5th, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    Senior is avoiding paying into Obama Care.
    The show was mildly entertaining for a short time.
    Sr. Jr. and cast did nothing for real motorcyclist.
    Their bikes really sucked, just ask Billy Joel.
    I never bought a t-shirt, hat or mug.
    Paul Jr. has a pretty wife.
    Now I’m really worried about Mikey.
    Did any of these guys own a bike?
    Will the OCC building become an Ace Cafe?
    Will Vinny gain more weight?

  29. 29 Scootertrash Feb 6th, 2013 at 9:24 am

    Couldn’t happen to a bigger ass….

  30. 30 1550tc Feb 6th, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    should make for a great come back story………..or a book should be out any day now, about how to run a total dysfunctional business, family and TV show

    Over the last 12 years Sr truely has built some of the ugliest least ride-able bikes in the industry

    I was always hoping he would build a Menards or Home Depot depot with everything on it including the kitchen sink and real working toilet so his NON fans at show could puke into it 🙂

  31. 31 Chris Feb 6th, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    Love OCC or hate them, we would be remiss if we didn’t give them (along with Jesse James and others seen on TV) credit for contributing to the massive sales growth of motorcycle and motorcycle parts through the glory days of the early and mid 2000’s. While I can live without the drama, the show brought thousands of new customers and their pocketbooks to the industry. That was a win for all as innovation exploded during that time period.

    While the bikes they built aren’t necessarily my style, they obviously appealed to thousands of people as evidenced by the similar style of bikes built and sold by companies like Big Dog, Ironhorse, Swift, Big Bear, and others.

    What do all of those companies have in common? Well, they are all long gone, probably, in part, because of their collective unwillingness to change their designs once it became clear that one definition of “cool” doesn’t necessarily mean enjoyable to ride or is anything more than a passing fad.

    OCC and Paul Jr. Designs both have incredibly talented people working for them, doing what the guy who signs their checks asks of them. Skeeter Todd is an absolute genius and, if it were up to him, wouldn’t be building the long chopped flashy rigids his boss sells. Rick is a stone cold master of his craft, so is Vinny. Paul Jr. is one hell of an artist, at least give him credit for that.

    It might make you want puke into a bowl, but boy wouldn’t we all love to see that kind of sales explosion happen again.

  32. 32 Vinnie Feb 6th, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    Chris, agreed. We ALL benefited from seeing Jesse James, Sr. & Jr., Indian Larry, etc. on TV. Would love to see a “rebound” of some sort.

    Hate to see another AMERICAN company go belly-up!

  33. 33 Grey Beard Feb 6th, 2013 at 10:09 pm

    Gotta hand it to Sr. He did something very few have done……
    He walked away with all the marbles.

  34. 34 nicker Feb 7th, 2013 at 12:37 am

    “…While the bikes they built aren’t necessarily my style, they obviously appealed to thousands of people as evidenced by the similar style of bikes built and sold…”

    Well, that’s one perspective.
    I’m think-n that “appeal” isn’t about their motorcycles, but more about their dysfunctional personalities and the type of people such a TV presentation draws as a steady viewer…..

    In what crazy universe would the like of Ian Barry’s art be eclipsed by any OCC offerings…..
    No, Sorry, i just don’t see it. Its like comparing Andy’s T’s with Moal Coach Builders.

    OCC’s art hasn’t been the influence.
    OCC simply has been a mechanism the TV guys used to generate Add money……
    And that chosen content created interest in custom motorcycling.
    It certainly didn’t’ create much interest in “rototiller-style” handlebars.
    They TV guys could just as well have used the “Art of th Motorcycle” …. etc, etc….. But they didn’t they took the easy way out and stuck us with OCC.

    Sort-a like the media interest in the comedy of Lenny Bruce as opposed to Mort Sol.
    Lenny got the notoriety and the public got stuck with being told that the “F-bomb” was funnier.
    (or the porn-industry making the Beta -vs- VHS choice for us)

    Just because its on TV doesn’t make it great art or entertainment.


  35. 35 beenthere Feb 7th, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    I agree with Paul

    Larry died
    Billys in the can
    and Jesse moved on

    end of story

    these bozos are laughing all the way to the bank

  36. 36 B Willcockson Feb 7th, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    Sorry to hear this is bad news

  37. 37 Keyboard Kowboy Feb 9th, 2013 at 1:14 am

    This was truley inevitable, a singular personality with a set of antagonists can only carry a show so far. Where the real miracle lies in the fact that it lasted past the pilot episode let alone a decade. It was NEVER about producing a great or even a good cycle product. How many of the show’s fans would even begin to know what a great custom is? The WalMart OCC hat buying Tshirt crowd just looks at the “reality” show about how some douche bag yells at his kids/employees then attention turns to the oh so shiney “barley finished on time everytime’ regurgitation of over raked fat tire bike with a fire hose/ jet engine/ spiderweb or whatnot patriotic heartfelt fallen soldier insulting doodad dejur, and the crowd goes wild with a teary eyed Paul Sr riding it on stage to meet the adoration of….welll yall get the idea. It was pure genius, it had its run……..time to say “K I love ya….Buh Bye.. It was the perfect marketing strategy for the trinket shopping lifestyle wannabe lowest common denominator of the purchasing public…. again genius. The fads longevity was historic and the motorcycle industry is undoughtedly stronger financially for all the long term pubicity showered upon it. The people who invested their time, emotion, and money into this genre wouldnt have even known about it otherwise. How many new generation fabrcators were born because of OCC or Monster Garage? How many will continue to ride and buy or even dream of it long term because of it. The industry has been transformed because of it,,,like it or not. I sold many billet parts during the heyday…. end of longwinded sermon. Lol

  38. 38 Dave Comer Feb 11th, 2013 at 9:36 pm

    Well, I really enjoyed watching the show and hold not bad feelings. I enjoyed watching, especially, the craftsmanship that Jr. demonstrated along with Vinny and Rick in the early days. In the end, it was Rachel’s fine ass that kept my attention. I will miss the show and wish the best for the Teutuls and all of the employees of both OCC and PJD.

  39. 39 Clear Water WI Mar 9th, 2013 at 11:23 am

    I agree with Chris and feel bad any time an American business struggles. With that being said, it became quite evident that Paul Sr and Paul Jr never considered their ultimate future while each of them built multi-million dollar estates and Sr bought every tricked out muscle car from Poughkeepsie to Palm Springs. It seems that any money they made immediately went into some ridiculously exotic toy instead of planning for their future like when there is no more TV show to pay the bills. There is a great documentary called The Queen of Versailles which chronicles a family’s rise and ultimate fall caused by their own greed and excess. It’s a rags to riches then back to rags story. The similarities are palpable.

  40. 40 Rory Mar 18th, 2013 at 5:44 am

    I must say, living here in Ireland, the show was a great escape from the reality of recession. Ok, so they may not be the best business people but at least they made it while it lasted. I do hope OCC will make a come back at some stage. Good luck to all at OCC.

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  42. 42 TSNVA Jul 3rd, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    Gee, this show was nothing more than any hour long ad for whatever company was said to be backing the build. Why do the real people with talent stay with a show like this? most likely the $24-25 K they make per show. Yeah, it isn’t near anything the main people make, but still. For the life of me I can not figure out how anything they built was an American Chopper. By definition it should be a bike striped down to the basics, maybe painted well, stretched out. Not one with a garden shovel doubled taped on it with a garden hose used for handbar grips. My favorite is no front brake. I suggest you ride a hugely stretched out front end with no trail in that front wheel because the rake is off, with major wheel flop, and only a rear brake. I can not imagine anything worst then what they built. Yes, I used to see over strectched 60s choppers without a front brake, a front brake takes away from the look, it does put a huge strain on the fork, given the front brake should take the lion’s share of the work. Most likely one reason for those early front end failures and collapses.

    Loved the high over night shipping for parts, the junior MacMansion, these things litter the American country side, what style is that, the new cars and burning the backend off with zero miles on it. I sure as hell wouldn’t want to buy a used car from anyone of them. These people really thought they had talent and it would last forever and money to burn. These are people who never grew up, they stopped around 12.

    This show was nothing than a cheap subsitute for not being Master of your own Domain for an hour.

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Cyril Huze