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Offbeat What Sears shoppers should do if the company files for bankruptcy

17:05  11 october  2018
17:05  11 october  2018 Source:   usatoday.com

Lampert explores bid for Sears' assets in bankruptcy, sources say

  Lampert explores bid for Sears' assets in bankruptcy, sources say Sears CEO Eddie Lampert is exploring a bid for some of the cash-strapped U.S. retailer's businesses and real estate once it files for bankruptcy as an alternative to a traditional court-supervised reorganization, people familiar with the matter said Thursday.Under this scenario, the 125-year-old department store operator, once the world's largest retailer, would initially avoid an outright liquidation, but would have to navigate the bankruptcy process without some of its key assets.

Now, the company is working with advisers to prepare a potential bankruptcy filing as soon as this week, according to the Wall Street Journal and CNBC. A Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing would give Sears a chance to cut debt and close more stores in a bid to survive as a smaller, profitable company .

If the company owes you any wages when it files Chapter 11 bankruptcy , as long as you continue in the company 's employ You should also file a proof of claim for any unpaid health insurance claims or unreimbursed expenses that you can document. These will be treated as general unsecured claims.

For years, there have been reports of Sears death spiraling toward the corporate graveyard alongside other popular brick-and-mortar retailers.

The company, once one of the great brands of America, has managed to stay afloat in recent years by borrowing cash from its CEO and selling off desirable assets such as real-estate and brands.

Now, reports say Sears is working with advisers to prepare to possibly file for bankruptcy, as soon as this week. But just because Sears Holdings Corp. might be in trouble doesn't mean consumers have to be.

A key uncertainty could keep shoppers from Sears' clearance sales

  A key uncertainty could keep shoppers from Sears' clearance sales Sears has long been known as one of the leading appliances sellers in the United States, and many of those products are sold with warranties. Despite its past woes, Sears has maintained that it will honor its warranties.While holiday sales are a good time to clear out inventory, at least one analyst says that some customers might be turned off by the uncertainty around the retailer's warranties.

Learn bankruptcy basics, including when when to file bankruptcy and how to file bankruptcy . Because our company was created by experienced attorneys, we strive to be the best legal You can go bankrupt in one of two main ways. The more common route is to voluntarily file for bankruptcy .

If Sears does file for bankruptcy , it may sell its appliance division to a third party, Lopez-Castro said. The key would be whether the third party would But the buyer wouldn't necessarily be forced to honor the warranties. If the third party didn't want to honor the warranties, those would become unsecured

In the wake of all that's happening, here's what Sears shoppers should know:

Question: Will my local store close?

Answer: Possibly.

So far, Sears has announced that 46 of its underperforming stores are closing in November. The plan involves shutting down 13 Kmart locations and 33 Sears stores in several states.

Q: Can I still use my gift card?

A: Yes, at least for now. But experts suggest that you put them to use ASAP.

"In general, people shouldn’t hold on to gift cards," said Katherine Hutt, director of  communications for the Council of Better Business Bureaus. "They should go and spend them as soon as they can, regardless of the status of the company."

Q: What's the best time to shop for deep discounts?

A: Now, maybe.

"When retailers close stores, they are likely to have some sales. You have to be careful though. Yes, some items are going to be deeply discounted, but it is also likely they will be marked 'no return,' " Hutt said.

Sears stock dives 30 percent on news of bankruptcy preparations

  Sears stock dives 30 percent on news of bankruptcy preparations Sears' stock lost nearly a third of its value in morning trading Wednesday after a report said that the beleaguered retailer had hired advisers to prepare for a bankruptcy filing ahead of a debt payment deadline.Shares of Sears, an iconic American retail brand which traded above $100 a decade ago but have fallen to less than $1 in the past year, were down 30 percent.

In the wake of filing for bankruptcy , Toys R Us is likely to roll out the deals this holiday season to woo wary customers and fend off rivals who have steadily Toys R Us shoppers may be reluctant to buy gift cards this holiday season out of worry that they won't be able to redeem them if the company 's

What Every Investor Should Know Corporate Bankruptcy . A company 's securities may continue to trade even after the company has filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 11. If the company does come out of bankruptcy , there may be two different types of common stock, with different ticker

There may not be a store to return to.

Q: I purchased an extended warranty. Will Sears still honor it?

A: Until the point at which a company files for bankruptcy, warranties and return policies will likely be “business as usual,” Hutt said.

However, when Sears closed down its Canada stores last year, the retailer stopped honoring extended warranties. "After October 18, Sears will no longer be in a position to honour Sears Protection Agreements to customers," the chain said in a 2017 release.

Refunds on protection agreements were only allowed if purchased within 30 days of the company's liquidation announcement.

The good news is that some other companies stepped in to honor the agreements and perform repairs at no cost to customers. But that's no guarantee.

Q: Will the return policy change?

A: It shouldn't change immediately, according to the BBB.

Q: What about layaway?

A: “If you have anything on layaway, you should go get it and pay it off. If you were planning to buy anything to match something you already have, you should get that as quickly as possible," Hutt said.

Q: How do I leave a complaint?

A: Sears has been a BBB-accredited business since 1966, so the company is required to handle complaints up until it files for bankruptcy. "Closing a business doesn't relieve the owner of that responsibility," according to the BBB website.

If you would like more information, contact your local Better Business Bureau.

Plan for a smaller Sears begins to emerge in bankruptcy court .
Sears has proposed having its Chapter 11 reorganization plan filed by late December and confirmed in March 2019. One critical date is Nov. 15, when it plans to make a decision about its so-called "bubble stores" that are being reviewed to see if the lease terms can be renegotiated and if ways can be found to make them profitable.More: Once nation's top retailer, Sears files for bankruptcy. A timeline of its rise and fall.

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