Hi Amy, Thank you for requesting me. I posted a response regarding following up on PACER (the Federal Bankruptcy website: http://www.pacer.gov/ ) to ensure (1) whether or not the business has actually filed bankruptcy; and (2) that your claim against them is listed (if it is not you need to ensure that you submit a claim - all creditors, listed or not must submit their claim to the Trustee, but you must be proactive if the debtor fails to list your claim).
You also need to determine the type of business entity that you are dealing with (sole proprietorship, LLC, Corp) to find out what who is filing bankruptcy, and where your claim lies. If it is a sole proprietorship or a partnership you have more leverage as the business owners are personally liable for the debt.
I am not sure yet. Just guessing what's going with that family bussiness.
It is more of a business judgment call on your part in that case. It is very easy and inexpensive (I believe it is free to open a consumer PACER account), to check on bankruptcy status of both the individuals and the business (if it is a separate entity - LLC or Corp.). You can check on whether or not the business is incorporated or an LLC using the Maryland Secretary of State's Business Portal: http://www.secstates.com/MD_Maryland_Secretary_of_State_Corporation_Search/ and the decision as to whether or not to proceed with a small claims case to get a judgment is up to you (it takes about 2-3 months to get a default judgment in your favor assuming they do not contest the matter).
In worst case scenario, I may not get any money back from them. Is it true?
That is true, and it is a realistic possibility (I hate to be blunt, but I do not want to skirt the issue).
(I say that with the understanding that their business is folding and you have reliable information that they already have, or are in the process of declaring bankruptcy).
Thanks very much for your advice and opinion. This is the first time I have to face with a bad business. At least I know what to do in the future.
You are very welcome. Thank you again for using our service, I truly appreciate it. I am sorry that you had such an unfortunate experience (perhaps you will be lucky in getting a return here). If you have any future questions please do not hesitate to let me know and I will be more than happy to follow up.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).