PITTSBURGH — Customers of Home Décor Outlets in Pittsburgh are wondering what a proposed bankruptcy settlement for the furniture store means to them.
“I feel kind of betrayed because they didn’t explain what they were talking about,” said Home Décor customer Stacey Dorsey.
On Monday morning, along with several other clients, Dorsey listened over the phone to a federal bankruptcy court hearing in Atlanta.
11 examines the story that Home Décor Outlets filed for bankruptcy and closed its Liberty Avenue store in Pittsburgh without warning. At least 17 other locations along the East Coast have also been closed. This has left many customers without their goods or the money they have set aside.
About 30 Pittsburgh customers have filed complaints about Home Décor Outlets with the Pennsylvania Attorney’s Office.
At Monday’s hearing, Home Décor attorney Henry Sewell announced an interim settlement with the company’s largest creditor, Crossroads Financial Group, which is owed about $1.6 million.
Sewell told the court that Crossroads agreed to pay approximately $700,000, approximately 43% of the balance owed. In return, Home Décor could keep its merchandise and any proceeds, with plans to reorganize and move forward the two locations it left in South Carolina and Missouri.
The proposed settlement comes after Crossroads petitioned the court in August to commute Home Décor’s bankruptcy from Chapter 11 liquidation to Chapter 7 liquidation. If approved, Chapter 7 liquidation would force the company to sell all of its assets to repay its creditors.
Settlement talks were initiated in response to this move. Now, two weeks later, the proposed settlement has been announced.
what about us
Customers who overheard the call were confused and said they felt their interests were not being considered.
“What about us? What’s happening to us?”
Pittsburgh customer Stacey Dorsey, who paid about $386 for furniture in stock but also did not receive her goods from Home Décor, told Channel 11 she felt the proposed settlement was dismissing her too easily and believed that they should be closed.
“You 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 go on and on with basically no penalties.”
Dorsey continued to receive bills from Home Décor long after the closure to get her to pay more money. No one at corporate headquarters responded to her repeated calls and emails.
11 Investigates has also contacted Home Décor Outlets and its attorney multiple times, but has received no response.
Channel 11 viewers agreed to help Dorsey after we shared her story in June. Several people made donations, which enabled her to buy two beds and living room furniture from other retailers. She told 11 Inquiries she was grateful.
“I’m so grateful for the generosity of everyone who helped me, but I still worry about all the other people who didn’t get their furniture,” Dorsey said.
Dorsey said she now hopes other customers will be happy too.
“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.
Spokeswoman Jacklin Rhoads, communications director for the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office, gave this statement to Channel 11:
“While it is not yet clear whether consumer deposits will be returned in full, our top priority is to ensure that consumers’ concerns are brought to the attention of this court and that their claims are properly addressed during this process.”
The proposed agreement is not yet decided. It has yet to be submitted to the court and approved by the judge. Prior to this, other creditors, including customers, have the opportunity to object if they do not deem it fair.
If the court approves the settlement, Home Décor will remain in Chapter 11 and submit a restructuring plan to the court for approval.
Download the FREE WPXI News App for notifications of breaking news.
Follow Channel 11 News on Facebook and Twitter. | Watch WPXI NOW
©2022 Cox Media Group