Some Loves Furniture clients left without furniture or refunds months after filing for bankruptcy
WARREN, Mich. (WXYZ) – UPDATE: March 20, 2021 – the day after this story was published – Stefanie Coesens told 7 Action News that she got her money back. “Seems like the timing is perfect. Chase won the case we filed with Loves or they did well on their own,” she explained in an email.
A couple in St. Clair County are frustrated over paying off all of their new furniture only to find out days later that Loves Furniture has filed for bankruptcy. They did not receive their furniture or refund.
Can you believe it’s been a year this month since Art Van Furniture filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy?
There was some hope for many of these employees and customers when Loves Furniture took over several dozen of these stores last summer. But supply issues linked to the pandemic plagued the new business as well as delivery issues.
Loves filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on January 6, 2021.
But some customers who have paid for goods they never received are very frustrated.
I went looking for answers for a couple who contacted me recently.
Michael and Stefanie Coesens started the New Year 2021 with a visit to the Shelby Township Loves Furniture store.
“We bought a queen bed, and the headboard, the footboard, the two nightstands, the chest. Yes, a complete new set, ”said Stefanie Coesens.
The grand total? $ 2,857.76 – paid in full January 1 with their debit card.
The furniture was due to be delivered to their new home on January 23.
But five days after their purchase, they saw the headlines.
“‘Loves filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy,’ you know,” Stefanie said, impersonating a broadcaster.
“And we were like, ‘We just bought some furniture on Monday’. Like, ‘Oh no! What are we going to do ?’ », She remembers.
Her husband called the store manager who told him their furniture was at Loves Warehouse on 14 Mile in Warren. So he loaded a trailer to pick it up himself.
Once there, the warehouse was padlocked.
An official said all furniture inside was being liquidated.
“That’s what touched us the most, is that we know he’s there, but we weren’t allowed to take him even though we had all the proof that we paid for him!” Exclaimed Stephanie.
They received an email from Loves Customer Care on January 21, 2021 that said:
Our records indicate that you have a pending order, we wanted to contact you to let you know that we have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. By court order, all orders placed by January 6, 2021 must be canceled, we have therefore canceled your order.
We have noted that your order was placed with a credit card – it is the recommendation of the bankruptcy courts, that you file a dispute with your credit card company for all funds owed to you.
At this time, we are unable to fulfill orders, offer credits, or refund funds for orders placed prior to deposit. If you still want to make a new purchase or locate an item, we recommend that you contact your local store (s) directly to see which items are available for purchase. In-store products vary from store to store and can be taken home the same day.
For ongoing and up-to-date information, please visit our website at www.lovesfurniture.com “
Yes, the Coesens would have to buy back their furniture again – paying for it a second time!
And they sure weren’t going to. So they decided to fight for a refund.
PAYMENT WITH CREDIT VS. DEBIT
“Credit card companies are generally willing to work with you, especially in cases like this bankruptcy,” said Laura Blankenship – chief of staff and marketing director for the Better Business Bureau serving eastern Canada. Michigan and the Upper Peninsula.
Blankenship said it’s generally more difficult to get a refund if you’ve paid with gift cards or cash directly from your checking account, as was the case with Coesens.
I contacted the lawyer representing Loves Furniture and received a written response from Loves stating:
“As you may know from our online statements, Loves’ ability to deliver items was affected at the end of December and Loves had difficulty resuming delivery service thereafter. As a result, at the time of Loves filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on January 6, 2021, Loves was unable to deliver customer items. Each customer who had a pending order was personally called by a member of the Loves customer service team and was informed that all orders scheduled for delivery were canceled, goods from the warehouse were being moved to stores, and customers could purchase items directly from its clearance sales. . Customers who paid for orders by credit or debit card were told that the fastest way to get a refund was to contact their credit card provider. Paid in cash or by check must wait through the long bankruptcy process to request a refund.
As far as the Coesens are concerned, we have attached their order and their receipt. It shows that payment was made with a Visa debit card ending in 0969. Loves’ recommendation to Mr. and Mrs. Coesens is to file a dispute with the bank that issued the card and request a refund on their account. They can also file a claim with bankruptcy court, but it will take much longer for that claim to be reviewed. If our records are incorrect and payment was made by check, please ask Coesens to send us a copy of the void check and Loves can update our records. We will then submit his claim to bankruptcy court along with other clients who paid in cash or by check. “
The Coesens contacted their bank which put a “temporary credit” on their account – which the couple does not touch.
The bank told them talks are scheduled with Loves in April to officially try to get the refund, but there’s no guarantee they’ll get the money back.
“It was kind of like we were in a ‘you lost’ situation,” Stefanie said.
Loves said a number of customers had also contacted the extended warranties they purchased through Loves.
The company said in a statement:
“These warranties are provided by Uniters, a third party, and are unaffected by the bankruptcy of Loves. Uniters will continue to honor warranties that have been purchased.
Ultimately, the Better Business Bureau recommends that if you buy important items or order merchandise online, always pay with a credit card.
This way you have more recourse when problems arise.