Furniture Brands told to set money aside for utilities

Oct. 03, 2013 @ 07:37 PM

Furniture Brands International must deposit nearly $1 million into an escrow account that would be used if the company falls behind in paying its utility bills, a federal bankruptcy judge ordered Wednesday.

The $990,000 would be enough to pay about two weeks’ of utilities bills.

The court’s order specifies amounts for each of the utilities that serve Furniture Brands. The largest amount of the deposit, $331,870, would be reserved for Duke Energy Carolinas, and $105,233 would be reserved for Piedmont Natural Gas.

Duke Energy had sought a deposit of $663,740, while Piedmont wanted $219,466.

Although the bankruptcy court once had been scheduled to decide Wednesday whether Furniture Brands could pay its top executives bonuses of about $3 million for meeting certain targets when it exits bankruptcy protection, that issue was rescheduled for a hearing Oct. 11.