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Continued: Whistleblower: Edina's Be Iced Jewelers leaves customer out in the cold

  • Article by: JANE FRIEDMANN , Star Tribune
  • Last update: February 25, 2013 - 9:54 AM

Wesman discovered the store shortly after it opened in 2005. “The prices were so great. I told my friends about it and friends’ friends about it and pretty soon everybody is going,” Wesman said.

Soon, sales staff were calling her to alert her to new inventory. “ ‘We got these great aquamarines from Florida, you want to see them?’ ” Wesman gave as an example. “They claimed to be my friends … and then all of a sudden this happens and nobody called me.”

Wesman was able to track down a salesperson and an employee at the corporate office before their mailboxes filled up and they stopped returning calls, but she got no relief.

She has maintained a positive attitude, however. “I have to giggle about it now, because what can I do?” she said. With a heads-up from Whistleblower, she will be filing a claim form with the bankruptcy court.

Jane Friedmann • 612-673-7852

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  • Nina Wesman of Minneapolis took her unwanted jewelry to Be Iced Jewelers in Edina and received a sizable in-store credit. Months later, with $1,600 in credit yet to be spent, she found the store had closed.

  • WHAT TO DO IF A BUSINESS CLOSES

    If a store closes and owes you money or merchandise, there are some steps you can take to try to recover what’s due to you.

    If the company hasn’t filed for bankruptcy

    See if there are other locations that haven’t closed. Send the company a letter; the mail may be forwarded. Ask neighboring businesses if they have any information. If your merchandise is locked in the store, see if the landlord can provide access. Dispute a charge with your credit card company. Retailers’ warranties may be honored by manufacturers and vice versa. If all else fails, file a police report.

    If the company has filed

    Newspapers print notices of filings. Detailed filings can be viewed and printed for a small per-page fee at www.pacer.gov. A federal website provides various documents for a $10-$40 fee at www.bankruptcy-records.us or call 1-800-416-6504.

    Company funds first go to pay creditors who have a lien on identifiable property, then taxes and some employee claims are paid. Any leftover money gets divided proportionately among “unsecured” creditors, such as customers.

    If you are a creditor and don’t receive notice from the court, file a “proof of claim” form with the appropriate federal court. Get a form at the courthouse or go to http://1.usa.gov/VU0ybY for Minnesota filings.

    Source: BBB; George H. Singer, attorney at Lindquist & Vellum LLP

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