Bankruptcy & Creditor's Rights

Earth Fare, Inc., the 45-year old natural and organic grocery chain, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Tuesday in Delaware under docket number 20-10256. The Debtor operates more than 53 grocery stores throughout the Southeast, mid-Atlantic and Midwest.

The company is privately held and backed by private equity firms Oak Hill Capital Partners and Green Capital Partners. The Wall Street Journal and the Motley Fool report that the Debtor plans to close all stores.


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The lawsuits just keep coming… last week, Chapter 11 Debtor, Sears Holdings Corporation (“Sears”) continued to file hundreds of preference complaints to recover money from paid pre-petition creditors. The Debtor filed a mass of suits back in November 2019.

For most creditors, it makes no sense that they receive a complaint to return money for goods or services sold prior to October 15, 2018, when the company filed for bankruptcy protection. However, the Federal Bankruptcy Code allows a debtor to recover “preferences” in bankruptcy – 11 U.S.C. 547.

If you are a trade creditor who received a complaint, before you open the check book to Sears, know what defenses there are to this statutory claim.


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Retail and restaurant Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings continued to grab headlines in 2019. According to CNBC, there were 23 retail bankruptcies in 2019, compared with 17 in 2018.

Six (6) retailers and one (1) restaurant chain that were on our “Watch List” in 2019 filed for Chapter 11 protection – Charming Charlie (Part 2), Forever 21, Payless (Part 2), Charlotte Russe, Things Remembered, Gymboree (Part 2), and Perkins & Marie Callender.

As the New Year unfolds, following are 10 retailers to watch for possible Chapter 11 filing(s) in the year ahead.


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This past week, Chapter 11 debtor Sears Holdings Corporation (“Sears”) filed hundreds of preference complaints to recover money from paid pre-petition creditors.

For most creditors, it must seem odd to be receiving a complaint to return money for goods or services sold prior to October 15, 2018 (the date when Sears filed for bankruptcy protection). However, the practice of recovering “preferences” in bankruptcy is allowed by federal statute – 11 U.S.C. 547. Before you go a writing a check to Sears, know what defenses you have against this statutory claim.


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Perkins-Marie-Callenders-logos-bankruptcyPerkins & Marie Callender’s LLC, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy this morning in Delaware under docket number 19-11743.

The Memphis, Tenn. family-dining chain previously filed in 2011. Prior to filing, the company operated more than 400 locations in the two brands, including 400 Perkins Restaurant & Bakery locations (134 company and 266 franchised) and 38 Marie Callender’s restaurants (8 company and 30 franchised.


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Charming Charlie, the teen jeweler and accessory retailer, filed its second Chapter 11 bankruptcy case in less than two (2) years this morning in Delaware under docket number 19-11534.

This Chapter 22, which is the filing of two (2) Chapter 11 bankruptcies in a short period of time, appears to mark the end of the retailer. It lists in its filings that it has plans to close all 261 stores. The company emerged from its prior Chapter 11 bankruptcy, where it shed about 100 stores, only 14 months ago. According to USA Today, the company expects to vacate its stores by August 31, 2019.


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Earlier this year we noted 10 potential retailer bankruptcies to watch in 2019. Four (4) of those retailers, Payless, Gymboree, Charlotte Russe, and Things Remembered, filed within months of our report.

The following is a revised list of potential Chapter 11 retailer bankruptcy filings to watch for during the second half of the year.


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About a year after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, Toys “R” Us appears to be making a return to the retail market as a national chain.

After the former toy retail giant liquidated its business last year, its lenders took control of the company’s intellectual property, which includes the Toys “R” Us, Babies “R” Us, and Geoffrey brand names.

In late January 2019, several former Toys “R” Us executives started running a new company called “Tru Kids” to manage those brands.


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