PITTSBURGH — The Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office tells 11 Investigates it has sent a letter of concern to the United States Trustee in Georgia handling the bankruptcy of Home Decor Outlets.
The attorney general’s Spokesperson Molly Stieber says, in the letter, that the attorney general expressed “concern over the continued invoicing of PA consumers for layaway plans which likely will not be fulfilled, and which invoices give the impression that the Pittsburgh store is still open.”
11 Investigates first told you in June about Pittsburgh customers upset that the store closed without warning, leaving them without their down-payment money or merchandise.
Since then, we learned Home Decor’s parent company filed for bankruptcy in its home state of Georgia.
At the same time, 11 Investigates has documented multiple examples of Home Decor continuing to represent that its Pittsburgh location is still open and trying to get customers to continue paying. We’ve forwarded multiple examples like this to the AG’s office:
Thank you for being a valued customer. Unfortunately, due to staff shortages, we will
now be closed on Wednesday and Thursday during the summer months. We ask all
customers to confirm their pickup order and schedule their delivery on either Monday
or Tuesday to ensure a weekend delivery. We apologize for any inconvenience this
may cause. –Excerpt from Home Decor Email
That email, sent to Pittsburgh customer Stacey Dorsey, goes on to ask customers to continue making payments, saying, “Customers can also make payments on their in-store account online at Make a Payment.”
11 Investigates forwarded that email to the attorney general’s office last week. They called it “troubling.” Now, one week later, the AG has sent the letter of concern to the bankruptcy trustee.
Customers, like Dorsey, are frustrated that more cannot be done to stop the company from giving the impression that the store is still open to try and get more money from them.
Dorsey tells channel 11 the emails are “starting to feel like harassment.”
The AG’s office tells Channel 11 they can only take limited action, because when a bankruptcy case is filed, they lose jurisdiction to the bankruptcy court, which is in Georgia, in this case.
Meantime, the attorney general is advising Pennsylvania customers not to send the company any more payments.
“Any consumers who are still being invoiced for items on layaway should not make any additional payments,” Stieber said.
In addition, the attorney general says Pennsylvania consumers who have paid for services not received should file proofs of claim with the bankruptcy court.
Repeated attempts to contact Home Décor Outlets and its corporate office have gone unanswered.
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