Christian Bernard Goes Chapter 7

Christian Bernard Jewelers, a 30-year-old jewelry chain of 15 stores, abruptly filed for Chapter 7 on Dec. 26.

In a resolution accompanying its filing, the Secaucus, N.J.–based company noted that “the company’s shops are underperforming. [T]he Corporation’s existing lender has informed it that it may not renew the company’s current lines of credit” and “alternative credit facilities appear to be unavailable.”

It concluded: “The ongoing operations and conduct of business by the Corporation appears to be unsustainable.”

Christian Bernard Jewelers operated 15 stores in Connecticut, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, D.C., Chicago, and St. Louis, its Web site said.

After the chain closed, the media were filled with reports about customers who had left pieces for repair and couldn’t get them. One wrote on JCK‘s online site, “My fiancé and I, who just bought wedding bands, and have her engagement ring in to Christian Bernard for resizing, are very nervous!”

Charles Forman, the chain’s bankruptcy trustee, told JCK: “You have a situation where you have repair items and special-order items still in the store with no way of contacting people.”

He continued: “One of the first things the liquidators will do is to go back to those people who have contacted me, look at the store records, identify people who had items there and make arrangements to return their goods. We want to try to do this in a way that’s as fair and as consumer friendly as possible.”

He said customers with issues should contact his law firm at (201) 845-1000 or write rbrady@formanlaw.com.