Charities Seek Bankruptcy Protection
“We’ve gone through all the emotions here — shock, numbness, devastation, anger and tears,” Mr. Miller said. “Not only did everyone have to be laid off, they had to pack up their offices, give me their keys, and I had to change the locks on the doors the day before Thanksgiving.”
Brockton Family and Community Services, a nonprofit group in Brockton, Mass., that deals with domestic violence, filed for Chapter 11 protection in 2007, after the Internal Revenue Service threatened to seize a building it owned because it had not paid payroll taxes.
The organization had moved into rented offices with the hope of selling its building and using the proceeds to meet its tax obligations, said David B. Madoff, its chairman and the lawyer who helped with its bankruptcy. “The sale fell through twice in 2007, and the real estate market began going south,” Mr. Madoff said.
Under court protection, Brockton Family moved back into its building, eliminating the need to pay rent, and it reduced some services. It emerged from bankruptcy protection in November.
Copia, a nonprofit organization founded by the late Napa Valley winemaker Robert Mondavi to cultivate appreciation for fine food and wine, is not so lucky. Conceived as a destination that would draw hundreds of thousands of visitors a year with its organic herb gardens, a demonstration kitchen and a restaurant, it collapsed in November under $78 million of debt and initially sought to reorganize under Chapter 11.
Instead, the presiding judge is forcing it to liquidate.
Glass Youth and Family Services had been living off its credit cards for several months. “The Internet was down for two days last week because we couldn’t pay the bill, and a repo man showed up for one of the vans we use to transport the kids around,” Ms. DeCrescenzo said.