We owned 503 shares of a corporation that changed its name twice and finally went into bankruptcy. We have received copies of court proceedings that are lengthy and difficult to understand. How can I get information on my common stock shares and some idea of the possibility of recovering my investment? E.K.
Business backruptcies generally fall into two classes -- those that intend to close the company and liquidate the assets for the benefits of the creditors and stockholders and those that continue to operate under the protection of a court. You will find the name of the attorney who has been elected by creditors or appointed by the judge to represent you in the correspondence you received. Write to the firm for an update on the status of the proceedings, as they may take years to resolve. Your stock interest would be preserved through the two name changes, but generally the stockholders who represent equity ownership wind up with little or nothing in a bankruptcy of either type. Sometimes, stockholders in a continuing bankruptcy end up with bonds of notes that may be valuable in the future if the company tries tosurvive first and prosper later.