Sears Owes Billions of Dollars

CNN/Stylemagazine.com Newswire | 10/19/2018, 8:29 a.m.
Sears is on the hook to vendors, lenders and even customers who recently bought Kenmore fridges or Craftsman lawn mowers. ...

Sears is on the hook to vendors, lenders and even customers who recently bought Kenmore fridges or Craftsman lawn mowers. The company has close to $7 billion in assets, according to court filings Monday. But it has $11.3 billion in liabilities. More than 100,000 creditors are owed money by Sears. After Sears filed for bankruptcy protection Monday, those creditors will all get in line to fight to collect pennies in return for their investment dollars. Lenders funding Sears' operations and secured creditors will be at the top of the list. Those are the lenders who loaned money to Sears in return for real estate or inventory. After Sears pays secured creditors, priority creditors will come next, explained Chuck Tatelbaum, a director with Florida law firm Tripp Scott. That's anyone who recently sold Sears goods, taxes the company owes, and back wages and benefits to employees. They will only get paid if there's enough money left after Sears pays its secured creditors. Priorities usually get back cents on the dollar, Tatelbaum said. A judge will have to sign off on any payments Sears makes during the bankruptcy process.