Its customers — some of whom pre-paid thousands of dollars for propane service that won’t be fulfilled — may now see refunds through the company’s Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation process, according to the statement.
In a Chapter 7 claim, customers’ claims take priority over other creditors, according to the statement. Through its bankruptcy proceedings, a trustee will be appointed to liquidate the company’s assets, paying back its customers first.
“The decision to file was made by Thrifty’s management only after long and serious consideration of all the options available to Thrifty,” it reads. “Thrifty was confronted with a cash flow crisis caused by several factors both internal and external, and governmental regulatory actions. Thrifty was ultimately forced to close its doors as a result of those actions.”
Attorney General Dave Yost last month sued the propane supplier, citing numerous consumer protections violations. His office received more than 100 consumer complaints about Thrifty Propane this year alone.
In 2018, when Thrifty Propane was struggling to keep up with customers’ orders, FOX 8 reported on hundreds of other complaints against the company.
“This summer they were trying to get people to give money. … They sent emails stating they wanted you to pre-buy and only pay half of it so, to 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 responsible.”
The company in 2018 had about 50,000 customers in nine states, FOX 8 reported.