Stanley Woodworking and William Penn Cabinetry, two Snyder County companies owned by Maurice and Deb Brubaker, have filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
It is the third company owned by the Brubakers, who work as tax professionals in Lewisburg, to file for bankruptcy this year. In January, Wood-Metal, of Selinsgrove, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in a bid to keep the business open.
On Thursday, Chapter 7 bankruptcy petitions were filed for William Penn, a start-up woodworking maker the Brubakers started in February 2020, and Stanley Woodworking, the 40-year-old Middleburg company the couple started. bought a month later.
In January, Robert Chernicoff, the Harrisburg attorney hired by the Brubakers, said it was expected that William Penn, which closed in October, would not reopen.
“We hope that Stanley Woodworking and Wood-Metal will survive,” he said at the time.
A Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing will make it nearly impossible to continue operations.
In the William Penn Cabinetry Chapter 7 filing, the company is estimated to have between 50 and 99 creditors, assets of $50,000 or less, and liabilities of between $1 million and $10 million.
The estimated number of creditors and liabilities is the same for Stanley Woodworking, but his assets have been estimated between $1 million and $10 million.
“How can you take a business worth $5 million and ruin it in a year?” said Wendi Clark, who worked at Stanley Woodworking for 21 years.
R. Thomas Fitzgerald sold Stanley Woodworking to the Brubakers in March 2020. He said they defaulted on their payment obligations last June, two months before buying Wood-Metal, a company owned for years by the late Robert Gronlund whose other company, Wood-Mode Inc. . in Kreamer, which closed abruptly in May 2019 after 77 years.
Fitzgerald said he owed the Brubakers $1.7 million for his business.
Clark and several other workers at the three Brubaker companies have filed complaints with the Pennsylvania attorney general about withholding wages and benefits as the companies have failed in recent months.
“I hope that through the bankruptcy process, all debtors will receive what is owed to them,” Snyder County Commissioner Joe Kantz said. “For those who are owed money, it creates cash flow challenges for their business.”
He encourages displaced employees to visit CareerLink to help find a job “better than what they had. More importantly, a stable company that understands that its most valuable asset is its employees.”