David Kasen Quoted by the Courier-Post Regarding Kirby Brothers, Inc. Bankruptcy

Longtime Firms Seek Bankruptcy Protection


MEDFORD – Kirby Brothers Inc., a farm-supply store that recently closed after 140 years in Medford, has filed for bankruptcy protection.

The business cited debts of almost $200,000 in a filing at federal bankruptcy court in Camden, including unpaid taxes of more than $50,000. The court papers reflect the retailer’s rural roots, noting $8,200 is owed to a feed company and $3,200 for dog food and pet supplies.

The company is seeking to stave off foreclosure of its North Main Street store, its home since the 1920s, said Cherry Hill attorney David A. Kasen.

“We have the building listed for sale,” Kasen said. A sale could bring in $1 million, he said, “which would be sufficient to satisfy all of the debts.”

Kirby Brothers, which went to court March 23, was the second long-time Burlington County business to seek bankruptcy protection in recent weeks.

Carollo’s Bar and Restaurant in Hainesport took the same action March 15.

The business, a Marne Highway landmark since 1998, listed debts of more than $625,000. It owes $150,000 to the IRS, and $330,000 in two loans made by Fulton Bank, according to the restaurant’s filing.

Carollo’s listed assets of about $787,000, including real estate valued at $450,000 and a liquor license worth an estimated $300,000.

An attorney for Carollo’s could not be reached for comment.

Both Carollo’s and Kirby Brothers filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which typically allows a firm to reorganize its finances while it continues in business. But Kirby Brothers, which closed its doors on New Year’s Day, plans instead to liquidate its assets, Kasen said.

“Things changed and business wasn’t so good,” he said.

The company, owned by Charles E. Kirby Jr. and Janice Kirby of Medford, was founded in 1875 as a grain business. Business faltered as the area’s farms were sold to housing developers, and efforts to diversify the product line and extend operating hours failed to revive the company’s finances.

The retailer’s debt includes $30,000 owed to the IRS, $17,700 in state sales tax and $9,600 in township taxes, according to the March 23 filing. The largest creditor is Snap Advances, a Salt Lake City lender that’s owed $57,700, while six credit-card companies are owed a combined $43,000.

By Jim Walsh of the Courier-Post



Philadelphia’s Please Touch Museum Successfully Emerges From Bankruptcy

PicThe Please Touch Museum declared Chapter 11 Bankruptcy last September to settle a $60 million debt it incurred to pay for the museum’s move from Center City to Memorial Hall in Fairmount Park in 2008. On Wednesday, a federal judge agreed to a plan that will lift the Please Touch Museum’s $60 million debt for a payment of $11.25 million.

New chief executive Patricia Wellenbach called it “a great burden lifted” for the museum, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this fall.

The kid friendly institute needed to raise about $8.25 million through fundraising before this month, or the point when the reorganization process can be finalized. In all, the tax-exempt children’s museum has raised $7.86 million since it began the bankruptcy process in September. The William Penn Foundation provided $1.3 million, the Neubauer Family Foundation $1 million, and the Hamilton Family Foundation $350,000. The largest donation was $3.25 million from an anonymous individual. To persuade foundations and philanthropists to contribute, Wellenbach had to sell them on the possibility of rejuvenating the institution for new generations of children. The City of Philadelphia and some long-term vendors also agreed to accept less than they were owed to help the museum out of Chapter 11.