A main creditor in the Sensation Yachts bankruptcy trial has asked the High Court in Auckland to allow it to sell the land of the bankrupt builder. In order to do that, the court would have to order the removal of “chattels”, which include three unfinished yachts worth millions.

HSBC last week asked the judge overseeing the case to have the chattels removed from the Sensation yard, so it can sell the land and recoup its NZ$6.5m investment. Sensation’s assets were liquidated by the court earlier this year.

Former owner Ivan Erceg was not in court on Friday, according to a story in the New Zealand Herald. James Burt, a lawyer representing HSBC, said Erceg is believed to be in southern France.

In August 2009, Erceg appointed a receiver to run the affairs of Sensation Yachts. Subsequent reports by the receiver showed Sensation owed preferential and unsecured creditors about NZ$65m.

Balenia, a company based in the Cayman Islands, is one of the Sensation’s main creditors. It had commissioned three yachts, and has since taken ownership of the unfinished yachts. But they remain in the West Auckland shipyard.

Burt told the court that HSBC had no interest in the chattels at the yard. “We simply want the property be cleared up of these chattels,” he said, adding that selling the land with the yachts in place would be difficult.

In February, Erceg was bankrupted at Balenia’s request. Court documents showed he owned Balenia just under NZ$3m. Erceg appealed against the decision and has until August to act on his appeal.

The judge overseeing the case is expected to render a decision on the HSBC motion in the next few weeks.