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The owners of a bridal shop in Florida closed their shop in March and then filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on April 6. Victoria’s Bridal Couture, located on Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale, was almost $500,000 in debt when the owners submitted the bankruptcy filing. According to bankruptcy documents, the bridal shop owes money to 927 people and suppliers.

A news report about the bankruptcy filing claimed that customers of the bridal shop had received wedding dresses that were unfinished and damaged. The dresses were reportedly delivered to the women’s homes in cardboard boxes along with letters that stated the bridal shop could not hold their dresses any longer. Several of the prospective brides said that they had already paid for their dresses in full.

According to the news report, a note about unpaid rent was posted on the door of the bridal shop from the building’s property management company. The note reportedly stated that the tenants in that space owe around $15,000 after failing to make rent payments since November. The co-owners are scheduled to appear at the federal courthouse in Fort Lauderdale for a hearing on May 11.

When a business is in a lot of debt, an attorney may advise the owners to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. By seeking bankruptcy protection, business owners may be able to avoid potential litigation from creditors and other parties that may seek repayment of debt. Although Chapter 7 bankruptcy will generally allow a business to discharge most of its debts, business owners may decide later on to voluntarily repay some of the debts in order to rebuild their reputation.

Source: Local10.com, “Las Olas bridal shop owners file for bankruptcy,” Jenise Fernandez, April 27, 2015