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Attorney General intervenes in Affordable Furniture bankruptcy proceedings

ALBANY, N.Y. (WKTV) - Customers who were in danger of being unable to retrieve prepaid furniture from Utica-based retailer Affordable Furniture are receiving some help from Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.

U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Stephen Gerling granted the Attorney
General’s application to intervene on behalf of consumers, and 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 looking 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.”

So far, the Attorney General’s Office has 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.

So 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.

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