Clients seek refunds after American Laser files for bankruptcy

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7 On Your Side has a look at what American Laser Skincare clients will need to do to get their money back after the company abruptly filed for bankruptcy.

More than two months after the abrupt bankruptcy of American Laser Skincare, customers are still waiting for answers. Customers in 28 states prepaid for treatments they will likely never receive. So 7 On Your Side talked to the bankruptcy trustee to find out what customers should do next to get their money back.

Christine Itzowit is one of an estimated 15,000 customers of American Laser Skincare in California alone. The San Jose resident did not know about the bankruptcy until she called after missing her appointment.

"The phone just cut to a fast busy signal," she said.

That's when she went online and made the discovery.

"The fact that they gave no warning, nothing, it was upsetting to just find out they're gone," she said.

It's the same anger we heard when ABC7 cameras showed up to local clinics after it shut down.

One customer who didn't want to be identified said, "I think it's unprofessional the way that they're handling this going out of business thing."

American Laser had 135 clinics in 28 states and Puerto Rico. Bankruptcy papers filed indicate that the company has an estimated $100 million to $500 million in debts and less than $10 million in assets.

Local bankruptcy attorney Marty Courson says it's too early to know whether customers will ever get any money back.

"We really don't know at this point because it's all skeletal pleadings, detailed schedule of their assets have to be filed and haven't been filed," he said. "You can't really rely on what's been filed to date."

The bankruptcy trustee told 7 On Your Side all assets from the clinics are now being seized. A liquidation sale will be held and is not expected to be completed until July. Consumers would then find out if there's enough money left for them, but they are near the end of the line.

"There might be a chance if there's going to be any distribution," Courson said.

Itzowitz paid almost $1,300 for six treatments, but only received two. She figures she's owed more than $800.

"It's a chunk of change," she said. "I don't have, you know, an endless supply of money to spend. And it's going to definitely impact my disposable income and what I get to do."

And just like any other customer of American Laser who is owed money, she should file a claim.

"They need to step up and do whatever they can to help their customers," Itzowitz said.

If you'd like to file a claim in this case, click here.
Related Topics:
businessbeautyhairskin carelawsuitbankruptcyhealthconsumerconsumer concerns7 On Your SideSan FranciscoSan Jose
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