Attorney General Cuomo Intervenes On Behalf Of Consumers In Affordable Furniture Bankruptcy Proceedings


ALBANY, N.Y. (February 23, 2009) - Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today announced his office has intervened in the United States Bankruptcy Court on behalf of customers who were in jeopardy of being unable to retrieve prepaid furniture from Utica-based retailer Affordable Furniture.

U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Stephen Gerling granted the Attorney General’s application to intervene on behalf of consumers. Additionally, the purchaser of Affordable Furniture’s assets has agreed to allow customers to pick up pieces of furniture that have been paid for and are in the stores ready for pickup. Those consumers are being notified by the business.

In bankruptcy court proceedings, the Attorney General is seeking to make sure that consumers with unresolved complaints against Affordable Furniture are included in any distribution of funds that may be ordered by the court.

“Plain and simple, consumers should get what they paid for, even in cases where the business has filed for bankruptcy,” said Attorney General Cuomo. “This furniture retailer shut down before consumers could obtain what was rightfully theirs. It’s bad business. In this uncertain economy, consumers should also take the necessary steps to protect themselves before paying in-full for any retailer’s delivery orders.”

Attorney General Cuomo’s Office so far received complaints from more than 35 consumers who found that when they went to the store to pick up their furniture, the business had shut down. Thus far, the complainants are owed more than $40,000 in refunds or furniture. Examination of bankruptcy court records by the Attorney General’s Office indicates that more than 100 customers paid for furniture that they have yet to receive. Those customers are urged to contact the Attorney General’s Regional Offices in Syracuse (315-448-4848), Utica (315-793-2225) or Watertown (315-785-2444).

This action follows a matter in late 2008 when the Attorney General’s Office required Affordable Furniture to deliver all outstanding undelivered pieces in accordance with contract terms or refund the customers’ money within two weeks.

The matter is being handled by Assistant Attorney General and Albany Bankruptcy Section Chief Nancy Lord, Assistant Attorney General Judith Malkin of the Syracuse Regional Office, Assistant Attorney General-In-Charge of the Utica Regional Office Joel Marmelstein and Assistant Attorney General-In-Charge of the Watertown Regional Office Deanna Nelson.