Stanley Woodworking and William Penn Cabinetry, two Snyder County businesses owned by Maurice and Deb Brubaker, have filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
It is the third business owned by the Brubakers, who work as tax specialists in Lewisburg, to file for bankruptcy this year. In January, Wood-Metal, of Selinsgrove, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in an effort to keep business open.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy filings were filed Thursday for William Penn, a startup cabinet maker the Brubakers launched in February 2020, and Stanley Woodworking, the 40-year-old Middleburg company the couple bought a month later.
In January, Robert Chernicoff, the Harrisburg attorney hired by the Brubakers, said the expectation is that William Penn, which closed in October, will not reopen.
“We are hopeful that Stanley Woodworking and Wood-Metal will survive,” he said at the time.
Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy will make staying in business nearly impossible.
In William Penn Cabinetry’s 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 its assets were estimated to be between $1 million and $10 million.
“How can you take a company worth $5 million and screw it up 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 last June, two months before buying Wood-Metal, a company owned for years by the late Robert Gronlund whose other company, Wood-Mode Inc. at Kreamer, abruptly closed in May 2019 after 77 years.
Fitzgerald said the Brubakers owe him $1.7 million for his company.
Clark and several other workers at Brubaker’s three companies have filed complaints with the Pennsylvania Attorney General about withholding wages and benefits due to the companies’ bankruptcy in recent months.
“I hope that through the bankruptcy process all debtors get what they are owed,” said Snyder County Commissioner Joe Kantz. “For those who are owed money, it creates difficulties in their business’s cash flow.”
Dislocated employees are encouraged to visit CareerLink to help secure a job “better than the one they had. Most importantly, a stable company that understands that its most valuable asset is its employees”.