Couples likely won't get deposits back from closed wedding venue
KITCHENER -- Couples who already put down a deposit at the recently closed Hacienda Sarria likely won't get their money back, an insolvency trustee said.
The permanent closure of the venue has left many couples in limbo.
There are 155 unsecured creditors listed on the notice of bankruptcy filed by Hacienda Sarria.
The list includes Margarita Larovaia and her fiancé. They said they're now out about $9,000.
According to the document, the unsecured creditors are owed, on average, around $7,000. Some claims are up to nearly $30,000.
Clients include businesses and schools that paid deposits for proms.
Most of the claims are for couples who put down a 25 per cent deposit to hold a date, as specified in the venue's contracts.
The filing shows liabilities are greater in value than the listed assets, which include furniture only.
BDO trustee Mike Braga, the company handling the bankruptcy, said that's why people who paid deposits likely won't get their money back.
"I think that's where the confusion for many individuals lies," Braga said. "We are dealing with the event company and that is a separate corporation. The land itself is owned by another company."
The bankruptcy came as a surprise to many and most clients said they weren't told about it directly.
"Especially in this case, because weddings were happening up to the date of filing," Braga said. "The concern being disclosure could have resulted in other vendors or staff not attending the site and those weddings would be in jeopardy."
BDO is now conducting an audit on the financial records and their findings will be presented to creditors early next month. They're investigating all the bank transactions Hacienda Sarria made to try and find out what led to the bankruptcy, which BDO said it part of the process.
The findings will be disclosed to creditors during a meeting scheduled for early November.
Braga recommends using a credit card for any large deposits, since those are insured and may be able to get money back.