(March 5, 2:24 p.m.) An order for preliminary injunction and a Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act claims procedure has been issued by the U.S. District Court’s Northern Texas Division in a case involving a Rockwall, Texas-based brokerage.

Court documents also show that the defendants are challenging the validity of part of the claim because the creditor allegedly extended terms beyond the allowable 30-day limit.

Ben Parker Inc. principal Ben “Bennie” Parker was found dead the day before a case was filed against his company for PACA claims by Idaho Falls, Idaho-based Eagle Eye Distributing Inc. The cause of death reportedly is suicide.

According to court documents, Parker died Jan. 15, leaving behind more than $7 million in outstanding debts, the majority of which are PACA claims.

Financial paperwork filed on behalf of the company showed about $3 million in receivables, said Steve DeFalco, an attorney with the Naples Fla.-based Meuers Law Firm, which is representing several claimants.

“I don’t think those receivables are all collectable,” DeFalco said. “It’s not a very good recovery, maybe 20 cents on the dollar.”

Parker’s death leaves a lot of questions unanswered.

“The company obviously went out of business leaving a lot outstanding,” DeFalco said. “There’s going to be some work to determine where all this produce went.”

Parker’s widow, Susan Parker, and son, David Parker, were named as co-defendants. Both have challenged that they were not involved in the business.

According to court documents, they also are challenging the validity of Eagle Eye Distributing’s claim of more than $1.1 million, using an e-mail as evidence the company extended terms beyond the allowable 30-day limit.

On Feb. 24, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee passed a resolution to close a loophole that waives PACA trust rights if a company extends payment terms for companies that are more than 30 days in default. The USDA estimates that a long regulatory process could mean it could take until 2011 for changes to be made.

The court has set a deadline of April 17 for any additional PACA claims.