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Staff photo by DON HIMSEL

Daddy's Junky Music on Daniel Webster Highway in Nashua, along with three other New Hampshire locations, abruptly closed Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2011.
Friday, April 20, 2012

GE Capital says Daddy’s Junky Music customers can get cash for layaways

After six months of uncertainty, some answers have emerged for customers of Daddy’s Junky Music, the popular music retailer that abruptly closed its 12 New England stores last fall.

The company’s financier, GE Capital, has announced that customers who paid money toward instruments on layaway can begin applying for a cash refund immediately.

The application is available online and will be accepted until June 1. Refund applications accepted after that date will not be considered.

Customers can download the application or find answers to other questions at www.gecdf.com/DaddysFAQ/.

GE Capital’s Commercial Distribution Finance bureau (known as CDF) said customers should return the application with a scanned copy of their identification as well as scanned copies of payment records.

“CDF has decided to offer cash refunds to Daddy’s layaway customers as a goodwill gesture,” the company wrote on its FAQ website. “This gesture is specific to the situation with Daddy’s. It is a one-time-only solution, and will not be a part of CDF’s standard business practices in the future.”

Refunds will be mailed to customers within 8-12 weeks after the application is received, the company said.

Customers cannot pay their remaining balance to claim the instruments because GE Capital sold Daddy’s massive inventory of 48,000 items to a third party, according to GE.

“CDF was entitled to sell the collateral to recover the amount of monies we were owed by Daddy’s on the outstanding obligations,” GE Capital said on its website.

Daddy’s Junky Music had four locations in New Hampshire, including one in Nashua on Daniel Webster Highway South, as well as stores in Manchester, Salem and Portsmouth.

A total of 52 full-time and 14 part-time employees lost their jobs in New Hampshire, plus dozens of others at eight stores in Massachusetts, Vermont and Connecticut.

Founder Fred Bramante started Daddy’s Junky Music in his parents’ basement in Salem 39 years ago. When GE Capital pulled the plug Oct. 26, Bramante said it was a heartbreaking day. Daddy’s grew to become the 14th-largest music retailer in the United States before it closed.

Senior Assistant Attorney General James Boffetti, head of the state’s Consumer Protection and Antitrust Bureau, said he has received a “steady flow” of written complaints – somewhere from 25 to 50 – from customers since the music store’s closing.

Daddy’s Junky Music has not yet filed for bankruptcy in New Hampshire, but Bramante has said the company plans to do so and it can be a long process.

Once it does, customers with unspent store credits, gift cards or gift certificates can fill out a form to be listed as a creditor. Boffetti said to contact his office, the Consumer Protection and Antritrust Bureau, at DOJ-CPB@doj.nh.gov with any questions.

A few people who commented on the Daddy’s Junky Music Facebook page were frustrated or upset with the decision.

“Disgusting. I love how anyone who traded in gear towards a purchase will never see any compensation as we are ‘creditors’ now. Like I can afford to hire a lawyer. And there’s no money from Daddy’s to be given out. I’m tired of being nostalgic and sympathetic,” wrote one man.

Bramante’s daughter Candi also posted an update Saturday that includes the names of people who have yet to claim repairs in hopes of reaching out to them. Bramante said he and his family have had trouble with disconnected phone numbers and haven’t been able to reach everyone.

Cameron Kittle can be reached at 594-6523 or ckittle@nashuatelegraph.com. Also, follow Kittle on Twitter (@Telegraph_CamK).