Allcare Dental & Dentures has filed for bankruptcy, almost a year after the U.S. dental chain abruptly shut down all of its offices, leaving thousands of patients without care.
The company, which was based in Clarence, NY, and had offices in 13 states, plans to sell its assets to pay its debts, according to a story on BuffaloNews.com.
The attorneys general in Ohio and Pennsylvania have filed litigation against Allcare, charging the company with violating the Consumer Sales Practices Act by failing to provide promised products and services, as well as refunds.
After Allcare abruptly closed all of its offices December 31, 2010, the Ohio Attorney General's Office received more than 940 complaints against the company, mostly involving failure to deliver. In their complaints, consumers disputed about $2 million in payments to Allcare.
Pennsylvania's Attorney General's Health Office received more than 800 complaints from consumers, many of whom paid $1,000 to $7,000 for dental and denture services from Allcare.
Consumers who could not pay cash for Allcare's services could apply for third-party financing that was arranged by Allcare but provided by separate companies. Most consumers were required to pay in advance for a year of service.
Allcare cited the sluggish economy for its initial closing and subsequent bankruptcy. Patients and insurance companies owed Allcare almost $10 million for dental services when it closed its offices, said Allcare attorney William Savino.
Allcare's network service provider demanded payments for its services, turning off the company's computer system, website, and telephone networks. Without access to its computer and phone systems, Allcare could not directly notify its patients, Savino said.
Although consumers have not received refunds from Allcare, some have received money from the third-party financing companies, while others have successfully disputed the charges with their credit card providers.