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Off lease ceases operations only after bankruptcy; 466 people out of work in Florida – WPTV News Channel 5 West Palm

West Palm Beach, Florida – A West Palm Beach-based lease-only used car dealership has closed all of its locations after filing for bankruptcy, putting 466 people out of work in Florida.

Before ceasing operations, it had 500 vehicles at five locations: West Palm Beach, North Lauderdale, Bradenton, Opa Locka and 1200 S. Congress Avenue. It also operated in Katy, Texas, near Houston, causing 79 people to lose their jobs.

The company cited “significant challenges and competitive pressures resulting from unprecedented changes in the automotive retail landscape,” according to a news release Thursday.

“The industry has been impacted by inventory shortages, and supply chain disruptions and vehicle price inflation resulting from a multi-year decline in new vehicle production. High pricing and rising interest rates have further worsened conditions in the automotive retail market, leading to “Consumer demand and affordability have weakened.”

Off Lease Only said it had explored a range of strategic options, but “adverse industry conditions as well as the reduction in affordability of used vehicles have made it necessary to take the decision to organically close the business. “

Since 2004, Off Lease Only has sold more than 300,000 vehicles, according to its website, “It is also proud to be honored as DealerRater’s Used Car Dealer of the Year, an Edmunds 5-Star Premier Dealer, and each year a Receives a stellar A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.”

Founders Mark and Eileen Fisher started with just two cars and their life savings, and grew their business into one of the largest volume used car dealers in Florida.

The company was 20% owned by the founders and 80% by Cerberus Capital Management, a New York-based investment firm.

According to the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, the company disclosed assets and liabilities worth between $100 million to $500 million and between 1,000 and 5,000 creditors.

CEO Leland Wilson asked the bankruptcy court to allow the company to return deposits paid by customers whose purchases were not financed before the shutdown, the Sun Sentinel reports.

Former Off Lease Only employees told WTVJ they were let go with little warning on Wednesday.

Those laid off will receive at least two pay checks plus the remaining commissions earned, according to an internal document obtained by WOFL.

“Off Lease Only is closing its operations and is closed to the public,” the company posted on its website. “In an effort to responsibly wind down business operations, we have filed for voluntary protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.”

For more information, people are asked to call the hotline at 888-383-5791 for US calls or (332) 322-9802 for international calls, or for customer inquiries, visit [email protected] Is.

“Thank you to our valued customers for your years of patronage,” the company wrote.


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