We have all seen the ads: “Last week only!” “Going out of business sale!” “Everything must go! “Bankruptcy liquidation sale!” It seems like some furniture and carpet stores, in particular, are perpetually going out of business or filing for bankruptcy. However, they use these phrases as deceptive advertising techniques rather than as legitimate final sales.
One recent example may be Jacobsen’s Rugs in Syracuse, N.Y. This rug store filed for bankruptcy in 2011, and its going out of business sale lasted just a bit too long. Although the store had obtained a permit for a 60-day period to hold its going out of business sale, another company involved with the supposed liquidation continued the sale well past the allowed date. As a result, the Attorney General fined the rug store $65,000.00. In a statement, the Attorney General said that, “This should serve as a warning to businesses out there who attempt to deceive and manipulate the public.”
And would you believe it, Jacobsen’s Rugs filed for bankruptcy again on August 29, 2014. Apparently, this time they mean it. According to an interview on the website Syracuse.com (http://tinyurl.com/qefx9km), the owner of the store says that there is “very little” chance the store will survive this time because the rug business is shrinking due to the fact that 25 to 40 year olds are no longer interested in owning rugs that can last 50 years. According to its bankruptcy filing, the business has not made money in three years.
Under Maryland law, a going out of business sale can last no more than 60 days. The law applies to all sales at store locations discontinuing their operation, including close-out sales, liquidation sales, or lost-our-lease sales.
If you are a creditor of a business that has filed for bankruptcy, it is important to obtain bankruptcy counsel to enforce your rights in the bankruptcy case. These rights may include seeking a setoff to preclude preferences, reclamation claims and certainly filing a proof of claim, at a minimum. And, if you are a consumer who is owed merchandise or a refund from a business that has filed for bankruptcy, you should also obtain bankruptcy counsel to ensure the return of your goods, and if that is not possible, to file a proof of claim for you. Although claims against the business may not be paid in full, you may not share in any distribution if you have not filed a claim.
If a business that has filed for bankruptcy owes you money, please call Laura Margulies & Associates, LLC today for a consultation. We have helped thousands of people through the bankruptcy process and can help you address all of your concerns. To learn more about our firm visit our web site at >www.law-margulies.com.