PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh customers of Home Décor Outlets are wondering what a proposed bankruptcy settlement for the furniture store means to them.
“I feel a little pissed off, because they didn’t explain what they were talking about,” said Home Decor customer Stacey Dorsey.
On Monday morning, Dorsey, along with several other clients, listened in on a federal bankruptcy court hearing in Atlanta by phone.
11 investigation revealed that Home Decor Outlets had filed for bankruptcy and closed its Liberty Avenue store in Pittsburgh without warning. At least 17 other sites on the East Coast have also closed. This has left many customers without their merchandise or the money they have set aside.
About 30 Pittsburgh customers have filed complaints about Home Décor Outlets with the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office.
At Monday’s hearing, Home Décor attorney Henry Sewell announced a tentative settlement with the company’s largest creditor, Crossroads Financial Group, which owes about $1.6 million.
Sewell told the court that Crossroads agreed to take about $700,000, or about 43% of the amount still owed. In exchange, Home Décor could keep its merchandise and any product, with plans to reorganize and move forward with the two locations it left in South Carolina and Missouri.
The proposed settlement comes after Crossroads asked the court in August to convert Home Décor’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy into a Chapter 7 liquidation. If approved, the Chapter 7 liquidation would require the company to sell all of its assets to repay its creditors.
In response to this decision, settlement talks were initiated. Now, two weeks later, the proposed settlement has been announced.
And U.S ?
Customers listening to the call were confused and said they felt their interests were not being taken into account.
” And U.S ? What happens to us? asked client Gwendolyn Marks, who told the court she paid for a bedroom but never received her furniture.
Pittsburgh customer Stacey Dorsey, who paid around $386 for furniture set aside but also did not receive her merchandise from Home Décor, told Channel 11 she felt the proposed settlement left them too easily and thought they should be closed.
“They shouldn’t be able to do anything,” Dorsey said. “Because they have already scammed me and other people out of their money, which means the scam will continue over and over again, without penalties, basically.”
Dorsey continued to receive bills from Home Décor long after they closed, trying to get him to pay more money. No one from head office answered his repeated phone calls and emails.
11 Investigates has also contacted Home Décor Outlets and its attorney several times, but received no response.
Channel 11 viewers rallied to help Dorsey after we told her story in June. Several people made donations, which allowed her to buy two beds and living room furniture from other retailers. She told 11 Investigations that she was grateful.
“I’m so grateful for the generosity of everyone who helped me, but I’m still worried about everyone else who didn’t receive their furniture,” Dorsey said.
Dorsey said she now hopes other customers will be happy as well.
“I hope everyone gets their money, and I hope someone fights for us,” Dorsey said.
The Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office had a representative present for today’s hearing.
Spokesperson Jacklin Rhoads, director of communications for the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office, told Channel 11:
“While it has not yet been determined whether consumer deposits will be refunded in full, our number one priority is to ensure that consumer issues are brought to the attention of this court and that their complaints are dealt with in a timely manner. appropriate manner during these procedures. .”
The proposed settlement has not yet been finalized. It still has to be submitted to the court and approved by the judge. Before that, other creditors, including customers, will have the opportunity to object if they feel it is not fair.
If the court approves the settlement, Home Décor will remain in Chapter 11 and file a plan of reorganization with the court for court approval.
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