Creditors meeting is also scheduled for March 29
ABERDEEN, Miss. — Creditors in the United Furniture Industries Chapter 11 bankruptcy case are now able to file claims for monies owed that observers estimate is in the millions of dollars.
Earlier this month, the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Mississippi in Aberdeen posted a notice regarding the filing of claims and an upcoming meeting of creditors scheduled for March 29.
The deadline for filing a proof of claim for all creditors except government entities is May 30. The deadline for government entities is July 26.
According to the document, a stay was automatically issued with the bankruptcy filing, which means creditors cannot take independent action to collect debts from the debtor or debtor’s property. Any creditor that does so — be it by phone, email, text or otherwise — would be in violation of the stay and thus may be required to pay actual punitive damages and attorney’s fees associated with such a violation.
To file a claim, the creditors must go through the court. They can do so by visiting www.uscourts.gov and downloading a claims form directly from the site. Proof of Claim (uscourts.gov) The forms also are available at the clerk’s office for the bankruptcy court in Aberdeen, which is located at 703 Highway 145 North in Aberdeen, Miss. 39730. The phone number for the court is 662-369-2596.
Monies are owed to a number of creditors ranging from fabric and frame suppliers to trucking and logistics service providers. Millions of dollars are also believed to be owed to Asian factories that produced case goods for the Lane division.
How much these and other creditors collect remains to be seen as the company, which ceased operations abruptly in late November 2022, also could be forced to pay claims to workers said to be owed money for alleged violations of the WARN Act that requires employees be given 60 days’ notice of a company shutdown.
Company employees throughout the organization were alerted that the company was ceasing operations immediately through a late-night text just days before Thanksgiving. Based on estimated payroll, observers believe these claims alone could be in the $20 million range.
Creditors overseas that have either had a notice mailed to their foreign address or that are just now receiving word of the claims process can file a motion asking the court to extend the aforementioned deadlines. However, they also have been advised to consult with an attorney familiar with U.S. bankruptcy law regarding their rights in the case.
The March 29 meeting of creditors begins at 10 a.m. A debtors representative must attend the meeting to be questioned under oath. However, while creditors may attend this meeting, they are not required to do so.
More information on how to attend or participate by phone can be obtained by contacting the court directly.
Home News Now will update this story as any more details become available.