Bankruptcy & Creditor's Rights

2017 represented one of the busiest years for Chapter 11 retail bankruptcy filings. Many companies that filed have successfully emerged, like Payless. Yet, some are still questionable as to their future, such as Toys “R” Us, which is expected to begin selling a number of their leases and company owned real estate this quarter.

As the New Year begins, here are 10 retailers to watch for a possible Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing this year:

Continue Reading 10 Retailers to Watch for a Bankruptcy Filing in 2018

On December 11, 2017, Charming Charlie Holdings, Inc. (“Charming Charlie”), the Houston–based fashion jewelry and accessories chain filed a Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Case in the United Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. Charming Charlie has closed about 100 of its 360 stores. Further, its New York City flagship location on Fifth Avenue will soon close.

The company is working with turnaround advisor AlixPartners LLP, in addition to other restructuring advisors and attorneys.

More than 15 retailers, including Toys “R” Us Inc, the largest toy seller in the U.S., have filed for bankruptcy this year.

Continue Reading Charming Charlie’s the Next Retail Filing in 2017?

When a condo owner in arrears on assessments declares bankruptcy, a condo association often expresses concern about the effect of the bankruptcy on its ability to collect pre- and post-bankruptcy assessments.

The bankruptcy code states that fees or assessments that become due and payable after filing for bankruptcy protection are exempt from discharge. Any amounts owed prior to the filing the bankruptcy case are included in the discharge but may be reduced to liens against the property.

Under the New Jersey Condominium Act, NJSA 46:8B-21 (b), a condo association is entitled to a limited priority lien – over previously recorded liens (including mortgages) – for six months of “customary condominium assessments.” This statutory priority ensures that condo associations will be paid for some of the delinquent assessments instead of having their entire lien extinguished in foreclosure sales. Foreclosures often go hand in hand with bankruptcy.

Continue Reading Can a Condo Association Recover Past-Due Amounts After Owner Files Bankruptcy?

Ignite Restaurant Group (“Ignite”) filed a voluntary petition for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division today (Case no. 17-33550). Ignite operates 137 Joe’s Crab Shack and Brick House Tavern + Tap restaurants, including three international franchise locations in Dubai. Ignite employs 8,400 people, including 2,900 full-time (both salaried and hourly) employees. Ignite’s bankruptcy schedules list $197 million in liabilities and $153 million in assets.

In its bankruptcy filings, Ignite cites to declines in comparable restaurant sales and income from operations at both Joe’s and Brick House. The company also notes that it has closed underperforming restaurants, including a location in Newark, NJ which had opened in 2013.

Continue Reading Ignite Restaurant Group Fires Up Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Case

Rue21 Inc. (“Rue21”) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Pittsburgh, PA on Monday (case no. 17-22045-GLT, Western District of Pennsylvania).

This was another bankruptcy filing I saw coming back in January, when I wrote my blog Retailers to Watch for Possible Bankruptcy Filings in 2017. In the bankruptcy petition, the teen fashion retail chain lists more than 1,100 stores in the U.S. and assets and liabilities in the range of $1 billion and $10 billion.

Continue Reading Rue21 Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Kansas-based Payless, Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the Eastern District of Missouri (St. Louis) on Tuesday afternoon, under docket # 17-42257.

If you read my blog post about Payless from two weeks ago, this filing should come as no surprise to you. I even put Payless on my retail bankruptcy watch list for 2017 back in January.

The retail discount shoe chain has more than 4,000 stores in 30 countries. CNN reports 400 stores are closing immediately. The company has about $665 million in debt, according to Reuters. In February, Moody’s downgraded the company debt rating, stating the company shown “weaker than anticipated operating performance.”

Continue Reading The Shoe Dropped…Payless Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

As i mentioned in my blog from January, “11 Retailers to Watch for Possible Bankruptcy Filings in 2017,” it looks like Payless is on the verge of a bankruptcy filing.

Bloomberg reports that Kansas-based Payless, Inc. may be filing for bankruptcy protection as early as next week. The retail discount shoe chain has more than 4,000 stores in 30 countries. Speculation is that they will close about 10 to 15% of the stores as it reorganizes.

Continue Reading Payless Expected to File for Bankruptcy in Next Few Weeks

Last month I posted a blog indicating that Gander Mountain was possibly preparing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The rumors were true.

St. Paul-based hunting and fishing chain, Gander Mountain Company, which bills itself as “America’s Forearms Supercenter,” filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Friday in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Minnesota, docket # 17-30673 and 17-30675. Gander Mountain is the nation’s largest retail network of outdoor specialty stores for shooting sports, hunting, fishing, camping, marine, apparel, footwear, and outdoor lifestyle.

Continue Reading Gander Mountain Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy – Fifth Outdoor Retailer to File in Last Year

The new owner of the RadioShack brand, General Wireless Operations Inc., just filed for Chapter 11 in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. This is the second Chapter 11 filing for the brand in two (2) years (a chapter 22 filing, like the recent EMS brand filing).

Continue Reading Déjà Vu – RadioShack Brand files for Chapter 22 Bankruptcy

The 61-year old Indianapolis-based appliance and electronics chain, HH Gregg, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Indiana. The company has struggled with declining sales for about four years. According to Reuters, HH Greg has a signed a term sheet with an unnamed party to purchase its assets, and it is expected to emerge from the bankruptcy process in approximately 60 days. Of its more than 220 stores, the company plans to operate about 130 normally throughout the restructuring process. It said last week it would shut 88 stores.

Continue Reading HH Gregg Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy: Part of a Next Wave of Retailers Seeking to Restructure/Reduce Debt and Reduce Footprint