BATH, Maine — A week after the auction of unsold items from the former Gediman’s Appliance began, the lawyer representing owner Peter Gagnon said Friday that the store would not file for bankruptcy protection, but Gagnon is considering personal bankruptcy.
Attorney Leonard Sharon said Friday that a business attorney advised Gagnon that bankruptcy for the business is not necessary because secured creditors are already selling assets from Gediman’s closed stores in Bath and Lewiston, and would then divide the profits of the sale. The remaining funds will then be distributed to customers, Sharon said.
“The Gagnons themselves are not personally liable for the corporation debts,” Sharon said. “They are contemplating personal bankruptcy, but have not yet decided on what course to take personally.”
Gediman’s Appliance abruptly closed its Bath and Lewiston stores in September, prompting about 60 customers to complain to the attorney general’s office about goods or services they were owed, Tim Feeley, spokesman of the attorney general’s office, said Friday.
Online bidding began at 9 a.m. Jan. 16 at Keenan Auction, and will continue until Feb. 2. A preview of the items will take place Jan. 30, from 11 a.m. to noon at the Bath store at 67 Centre St., and from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. at the Lewiston store at 1822 Lisbon Road.
In October, complaint examiner Martha Currier of the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division said that because secured creditors — banks and businesses — would receive redress in a bankruptcy, customers were unlikely to see a full refund.
Currier said in October that she was notified by Gagnon’s attorney that he planned to file for bankruptcy, but as of 11 a.m. Friday, neither the company nor Gagnon had filed, according to the online court record system.
Feeley said the attorney general’s office will “continue to monitor the situation.”
In an email Friday to the Bangor Daily News, Sharon wrote that the Gagnons continue to work with the attorney general’s office through the process.
“Gediman’s closed because the economy and big box appliance distributors have once again conspired to thwart a small businessman who grew up in the appliance trade,” Sharon wrote. “The Gagnons — husband and wife — literally worked themselves sick trying to meet their obligations. Mr. Gagnon hounded banks and other lenders to no avail. Thus, the business is shuttered.”