§ 1247. Appointment of Secretary as trustee or receiver; operation of vessels under court orders; payment of operating costs; claims against corporation
(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, in any proceeding in a bankruptcy, equity, or admiralty court of the United States in which a receiver or trustee may be appointed for any corporation engaged in the operation of one or more vessels of United States registry between the United States and any foreign country, upon which the United States holds mortgages, the court, upon finding that it will inure to the advantage of the estate and the parties in interest and that it will tend to further the purposes of this chapter, may constitute and appoint the Secretary of Transportation as sole trustee or receiver, subject to the directions and orders of the court, and in any such proceeding the appointment of any person other than the Secretary as trustee or receiver shall become effective upon the ratification thereof by the Secretary without a hearing, unless the Secretary shall deem a hearing necessary. In no such proceeding shall the Secretary be constituted as trustee or receiver without the Secretary’s express consent.
(b) If the court, in any such proceeding, is unwilling to permit the trustee or receiver to operate such vessels in such service pending the termination of such proceeding, without financial aid from the Government, and the Secretary certifies to the court that the continued operation of such vessel is, in the opinion of the Secretary, essential to the foreign commerce of the United States and is reasonably calculated to carry out the purposes and policy of this chapter, the court may permit the Secretary to operate the vessels subject to the orders of the court and upon terms decreed by the court sufficient to protect all the parties in interest, for the account of the trustee or receiver, directly or through a managing agent or operator employed by the Secretary, if the Secretary undertakes to pay all operating losses resulting from such operation, and comply with the terms imposed by the court, and such vessel shall be considered to be a vessel of the United States within the meaning of the Suits in Admiralty Act [46 App. U.S.C. 741 et seq.]. The Secretary shall have no claim against the corporation, its estate, or its assets for the amount of such payments, but the Secretary may pay such sums for depreciation as it deems reasonable and such other sums as the court may deem just. The payment of such sums, and compliance with other terms duly imposed by the court, together with the payment of the operating losses, shall be in satisfaction of all claims against the Secretary on account of the operation of such vessels.