I have had a good 15 - 20 emails & several blog comments asking about status. Here is the email from the FORMER attorney -
I wanted to provide you an update as soon as possible. I understand and appreciate your frustration with the process, particularly as I have not been authorized by my clients to provide any additional information or updates recently.
I am now able to communicate the following:
- The Utt-Grubbs have terminated my representation of them in this matter. All future contacts regarding Carolina Farmhouse, Cecil Mack, or the Utt-Grubbs, personally, should be addressed to Stephanie Osborne-Rogers.
- Her contacting information is
Ms Stephanie Osborne-RogersNorthern Blue LLP1414 Raleigh Rd., Suite 435P.O. Box 2208Chapel Hill, NC 27515Phone: 919-968-4441Fax: 919-942-6603 -
On September 10, 2013, the Utt-Grubbs filed for personal bankruptcy in the Middle District of NC Federal Bankruptcy Court.
- The assigned Bankruptcy Trustee is Sara Conti
- Her contact information is:
Sara A. ContiU.S. Bankruptcy CourtMiddle District of North CarolinaDurham DivisionBox 939Carrboro, NC 27510Phone: (919)967-3375
I will place this notice on my website on the Carolina Farmhouse page. I will leave the website and information in place until September 30, at which point I will remove the page from my website.
- I have been listed as a Creditor of the Utt-Grubbs' in their bankruptcy proceeding, as such I am very limited in what information I can provide at this time. Between my role as a Creditor and as a former attorney for the Utt-Grubbs, I am extremely limited in what I can share or disclose in this matter. Generally, I will direct any inquiries to Ms. Osborne-Rogers.
- I am able to advise you that, because the Utt-Grubbs have filed for Federal Bankruptcy Protection, you are very limited in your rights to collect on the debt(s) owed to you. You should consult with an attorney to understand your rights and responsibilities as a potential Creditor and/or the "priority" of your claim.
I am, on a personal level, so sorry for the way this has turned out. Best wishes and good luck to all of you.
I emailed the new attorney for the bankruptcy and received an email with a letter back just a few minutes ago. The content of the letter is -
RE: Utt-Grubb d/b/a Carolina Farmhouse Bankruptcy Case 13-81144
On September 10,2013, Kelly and Sam Utt-Grubb, d/b/a! Carolina Farmhouse (the
"Debtors") filed a petition for relief under chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code. I represent the
Debtors in their bankruptcy case, which is pending in the Middle District of North Carolina,
Durham Division. Sara Conti has been appointed the interim trustee in the case.
As attorney for the Debtors, I am not aware of any assets in this case that will be
administered by the trustee, and believe that it is unlikely that creditors will receive any
distribution in this case. However, this determination is not mine to make. A chief role of the
Trustee in a chapter 7 bankruptcy proceeding is to determine if a debtor has assets that can be
Liquidated to pay creditor claims. If the trustee concludes that there are assets that will be
available to pay claims in the Debtors' case, you will receive a notice from the Bankruptcy Court
and instructions on how to file a claim in this case.
Pursuant to §362 of the Bankruptcy Code, the automatic stay immediately went into
effect in the Debtors' case at the time the petition was filed. The automatic stay provides for an
injunction that restricts most creditor actions relative to the Debtors and their property, if such
actions are intended to collect a prepetition debt or obligation. For example, creditors may not
begin or continue judicial proceedings against the Debtors, they cannot take actions to obtain the
Debtors' property, and they cannot take actions to create, perfect or enforce a lien against the
Debtors' property. Additionally, creditors cannot contact the Debtors for the purposes of
enforcing a claim, harassing the Debtors or pressuring the Debtors to satisfy a prepetition
obligation. The Bankruptcy Court takes violations of the automatic stay by creditors very
seriously and monetary sanctions are often imposed on creditors who choose to ignore the
injunction. The protections of the automatic stay apply to the Utt-Grubbs and Carolina
Farmhouse and the property of their bankruptcy estate. I encourage you to contact a bankruptcy
attorney prior to taking any action against the Debtors.
Kelly Utt-Grubb has written a blog recently about her being an entrepreneur. An entrepreneur (i//, a loanword from French) is an individual who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on financial risk to do so.
She has created and opened many different business ventures - letterberry (which no longer exists), name counsel, the creative media people, cecil mack (was under the name Carolina Farmhouse which neither no longer exists), and her newest Thanksforward.
She & her husband Sam Utt-Grubb had every opportunity with Carolina Farmhouse. You see they had the chance most of us would love to have had - featured on Extreme Home Makeover in less than a year of starting up their business!! Orders pouring in...
I am beyond sorry that this is the end result. I really wanted to see each & every customer get their money back that they were owed.
I started writing the blog about our situation & I became vocal because I felt there were lots of people out there that just didn't know what their options were. I then became compassionate because I heard story after story of so many that had been saving for a long time to make this kind of purchase. It is heartbreaking to know that someone was using wedding money to purchase their first dining room table together, or someone had lost their job and had finally regained themselves, saved the money to celebrate by buying their family a new table.... We are no exception of where the money came from for our pieces... I mean we were supposed to be getting a table given to us from the Utt-Grubbs program "Farmhouse Families" due to losing our home in a fire.
I wonder how it feels to lay your head down each night knowing that you had your hands wrapped around a successful business that was able to give back in such a big way, but instead you let it slip from your grasp for not managing your business properly....multiple vacations in a year, brand new cars, etc.
Give me one successful running business any day over starting 5 or 6 different business that never become successful enough to provide for my family...
I wholeheartedly believe this was coming down the pipeline for sometime. I just don't think there was any other solution for the Utt-Grubbs. I have my thoughts on what was going on over the last several months.
I wish everyone the very best of luck! If I receive any additional information I will update you here!