Connecticut Attorney General's Office

Press Release

Attorney General Says Bernie's Has Filed For Bankruptcy, Will Seek To Honor Gift Cards And Deposits

January 14, 2010

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal announced today that Bernie's Audio Video TV Appliance Co., Inc. has filed a petition for bankruptcy, and has assured his office that it intends to honor consumer deposits, gift cards and other customer programs.

Blumenthal said that he will fight for any action necessary -- including court approval -- for the deposits and gift cards to be honored.

Blumenthal's office is reviewing the petition, and will monitor the bankruptcy proceeding to ensure that consumers are fully protected. A representative for the company provided an estimate to Blumenthal's office that there are as much as $200,000 in unredeemed gift cards.

Blumenthal said the company has assured his office that it will also seek court approval to honor any returns, complete special orders awaiting delivery or provide refunds if items are not in stock. The company also has confirmed publicly that warranties will continue to be honored by a third party.

The company has requested a hearing be held tomorrow at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Hartford.

"Bernie's has made a pledge to protect consumers, and we are hopeful that the bankruptcy court will uphold that promise -- to honor all gift cards, deposits and other guarantees," Blumenthal said. "In these economic times, more than ever before, consumers must be protected when businesses file for bankruptcy.

"I am pleased that Bernie's -- more than most bankrupt companies -- recognizes its responsibility to consumers even as it faces financial fallout. My office will continue to monitor this bankruptcy proceeding to ensure that consumers are protected and promises honored."