Thrifty Propane Refunds Possible in Bankruptcy

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MEDINA, Ohio (WJW) — A Medina propane business that shut down suddenly, leaving customers out in the cold, filed for bankruptcy last week, according to a statement released Wednesday.

Its customers — some of whom have prepaid thousands of dollars for propane service that won’t be replenished — can now see refunds through the company’s Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation process, the statement said.

In a Chapter 7 claim, customer claims have priority over other creditors, according to the statement. As part of its bankruptcy proceedings, a trustee will be appointed to liquidate the company’s assets, first paying off its customers.

“The decision to file a case was only made by Thrifty management after a long and serious consideration of all options available to Thrifty,” it read. “Thrifty faced a cash crisis caused by several internal and external factors and government regulatory measures. Thrifty was eventually forced to shut down as a result of these actions.

Attorney General Dave Yost last month sued the propane supplier, citing numerous consumer protection violations. His office has received more than 100 consumer complaints about Thrifty Propane this year alone.

In 2018, as Thrifty Propane struggled to keep up with customer orders, FOX 8 reported hundreds more complaints against the company.

“This summer they were trying to get people to donate money. … They sent out emails saying they wanted you to pre-purchase and only pay half, so for me that was a major red flag,” customer Lesley McDonald told FOX 8. “…I realize we live in a really unfair world, but they need to be held accountable.

In 2018, the company had about 50,000 customers in nine states, FOX 8 reported.

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