Barriers remain in returning furniture to frustrated Cream City Restoration clients

Posted at 4:24 PM, Apr 01, 2022

MILWAUKEE — The logistics of getting missing furniture back in the hands of clients is getting complicated for a now-closed Milwaukee storefront.

Several customers of Cream City Restoration contacted TMJ4 complaining about missing money or furniture. In some cases, the losses are valued at thousands of dollars.

After numerous attempts to contact the owners of Cream City Restoration, the I-Team sat down with the company's bankruptcy attorney, Richard Check. Check clarified he is helping to shut the business but the company doesn't plan on filing for bankruptcy.

"The first thing we want to do is an orderly distribution of the assets, and that's what they've hired me to do," Check said.

That process, however, seems to have barriers in the way.

Orchard Park LLC, the landlord of the Milwaukee warehouse where Cream City furniture stored its clients' property, told the I-Team it entered into an eviction agreement with the company's owners back in January and stated: "The landlord has no information relating to who owns what personal property the tenants abandoned at the leased premises and is unable to determine the ownership or possession rights of customers of the tenants."

Here's some of the I-Team's Q&A with bankruptcy attorney Check:

"Anyone can say I've got this furniture. It's at this warehouse," the I-Team's Kristin Byrne said to Check.

"That's right and I'm very sensitive to that. So, what I'm looking for is some type of documentation these individuals have received from Cream City Restoration," responded Check.

Check says customers need receipts showing they are in fact clients, and the next step would be arranging scheduled times for people to pick up their items at the warehouse.

"We'll get the furniture back to these people hopefully within the next month," said Check.

"Have you made some movement on that? Have people received some items back yet?" Byrne asked.

"No, because I have no access to the shuttered venue," Check said.

"I have requested the landlord hire an attorney so that I can deal directly with an attorney," he added.

"So, say the landlord doesn't hire an attorney, how are we going to make movement in getting this resolved?" asked Byrne.

"I'm not sure," Check said.

"The only thing I could do is I could file a business bankruptcy for Cream City. Let a trustee get assigned to the case, then the landlord would have to deal with the trustee in the case," Check explained.

"So, it wouldn't take a month then, it would be a lot longer than a month," Byrne responded.

"It would be a lot longer," Check said.

"Doesn't the tenant have the right to go to the warehouse?" Byrne asked.

"The tenants have rights, but they would have to go through the state court system, which I don't think is as a convenient way of approaching this problem. Plus, it would be very expensive for them," Check said.

"It seems there are a lot of people involved that are not seeing eye to eye," Byrne said.

"That's correct. I think there's a lot of emotion involved in this whole situation and hopefully cooler heads will prevail," Check said.

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