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Consumer Alert-Porch & Patio Going Out Of Business; Liquidation Sales Underway



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Consumer Alert—

Porch & Patio Going Out Of Business;

Liquidation Sales Underway

HARTFORD — General Richard Blumenthal and Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) Commissioner Edwin R. Rodriguez have announced that Porch & Patio will begin holding a bankruptcy liquidation sale beginning this month. Consumers can, with some restrictions, fill outstanding orders, and redeem gift certificates, gift cards, and store credits.

The sale at the chain’s Wethersfield and Orange stores is expected to last six to eight weeks. Porch & Patio, which sold outdoor furniture and other patio products, closed in November 2005. Last month the company declared bankruptcy.

Customers who paid deposits or made payments, as well as those who hold credits, gift cards, and gift certificates, should visit the stores as soon as possible. Consumers who left items to be repaired may also try to retrieve their goods.

Credits, gift cards, and gift certificates worth up to $500 each will be honored at the sale. The liquidator will accept a maximum of $15,000 in credits, gift cards, and gift certificates from all customers.

“This sale may be the last best hope to recover value for Porch & Patio deposits and merchandise, but consumers should be wary and watchful about price and quality,” Mr Blumenthal said. “Consumers who paid deposits or partial payments should go promptly to the nearest store to claim their merchandise or a coupon, or file a claim with the bankruptcy court. Holders of credits, gift certificates, or cards should redeem them as soon as possible. My office will continue to closely monitor this sale to assure that consumers are treated fairly.”

“In many bankruptcy proceedings, consumers unfortunately come in last: they have no option but to file a proof of claim and sometimes end up receiving pennies on the dollar or nothing at all,” said Mr Rodriguez. “In this case, we have managed to help these customers. We have negotiated a settlement with the bankruptcy court that is designed to help the customers move to the front of the line, and get some return and value on the money they had paid to this company.”

Customers who present proof of purchase and pay outstanding balances will receive items ordered prior to the chain’s closing, assuming the items are available. If the merchandise is unavailable, consumers may elect to receive a store coupon for 50 percent of their deposit or payment up to $1,000. They may decline the coupon and instead file a claim with the bankruptcy court. It is unclear how much, if any, money will be available through the bankruptcy process to pay such claims.

Porch & Patio’s Orange store is at 363 Post Road Route 1, and its phone number is 203-795-4878. The Wethersfield store is at 898 Silas Deane Highway, and its phone number is 860-513-4877. Consumers who made payments or placed deposits at the chain’s Avon or Brookfield stores can get their merchandise or a coupon at the Orange or Wethersfield locations.

Consumers with questions should contact the Attorney General’s Office at 860-808-5400 or the DCP at 860-713-6100.

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