‘It was just a nightmare’: Family business owner in ‘major’ financial crisis loses $200M in court
Posted On July 7, 2021
A family business owner lost more than $200 million in court after she went to the media with a story of being forced to lay off her workers.
Lisa Baillie says her family was forced to declare bankruptcy, while her husband and three sons faced unemployment and homelessness.
She said she lost over $150 million in the process.
Her company, the family-owned company Baillies Furniture and Furniture Restoration, has a history of losing money.
But this time, she says she was told by a judge that the company had failed in the bankruptcy process and was unable to make payments.
“The judge said that we were in default, and that we had to declare our bankruptcy,” she said.
“It was a nightmare.”
After she filed for bankruptcy, Bailligie’s company went bankrupt and the bankruptcy judge ordered the company to repay $160 million to her creditors.
Baillief said she has no plans to go back to the court system again.
“I’m doing what I’m doing because I don’t have the money to go to the courts,” she told CBC News.
The court’s decision has been appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada.
Bailly said she expects the Supreme, which is also reviewing the case, will rule soon on the case.
She is not the only family business to be in a financial crisis.
The federal government announced in January it would end its program of funding business lending to the smallest business owners.
“We are also seeing an increase in business bankruptcies, especially in rural communities, where the business is struggling to survive,” said Michael Sona, a spokesman for the Canadian Bankers Association.
“So the government is continuing to look at the role of small businesses in our economy.”
In April, the federal government also announced it was ending support for small business lending.
That means small businesses can no longer use the federal program to finance capital investment, which helps businesses grow.
“If you’re a small business and you’re in trouble, you’re out of luck,” said Sona.
“And it’s not that we don’t know who is going to be a bank, but we’re not able to lend to them.”