Villa Victoria Pizzeria and the attorneys at Scura, Wigfield, Heyer, Stevens & Cammarota LLP have had the first ever Chapter 11 Subchapter V Bankruptcy filing approved by US Bankruptcy Court for the District of Jersey. This is the first approved plan of small business reorganization under the new Subchapter V Bankruptcy Code in the District of New Jersey and may be the first in the nation. This is a colossal first step forward in protecting and aiding small businesses.
Villa Victoria, also known by their legal name Nizza, Inc., is a full-service pizzeria located at 11 Park Avenue in Montclair, New Jersey. It is the quintessential New Jersey pizzeria.
Nizza, Inc. is one of the first small businesses to file the Small Business Reorganization Act (SBRA), first approved in February 2020. As the name suggests, this simplified process for bankruptcy is designed for small businesses to reorganize following financial hardships. The SBRA is codified at 11 U.S.C. § 1181 – 11 U.S.C. § 1195, otherwise known as Subchapter V. The SBRA is a voluntary option for small businesses, with many advantages over pre-existing options available to small businesses, including "small business debtors" under the Bankruptcy Code pre-SBRA. Villa Victoria was one of the first small businesses to use the new law but since then Scura has been very busy helping numerous other businesses get the help they need.
Prior to the mandated COVID-19 restrictions, Villa Victoria provided on-premises dining, pick-up and delivery services, and event catering. It has since adapted to the changing times with delivery, curbside pick-up, and outdoor dining.
Nizza, Inc’s current management stepped in after the prior managerial team failed to remit tax payments to the State of New Jersey and thus started to fall behind with vendors. She inherited a new host of financial difficulties in the process. Villa Victoria always had a loyal clientele thanks to its great food and prime location in downtown Montclair. However, prior ownership struggled to bring its delinquent tax debt current. The pizzeria began falling behind on payments to its landlord.
The business was close to losing everything – until they contacted their legal team at Scura to help them with keeping the wolves at bay. They needed relief that only bankruptcy protection can provide. The day they filed for bankruptcy, March 10th, the New Jersey Division of Taxation had revenue agents inside the building trying to lock the doors forever and shut this local landmark down. Filing for bankruptcy saved the company at the literal last second. The Scura team informed the agents that the bankruptcy stay was in effect and the agents picked up their files and sent the locksmith away. Now Villa Victoria and its attorneys had to form a plan for how it would emerge from bankruptcy.
On August 11th , Villa Victoria became the first Subchapter V case approved by the Bankruptcy Court in New Jersey and one of the first in the nation. The approved bankruptcy plan promises to pay all creditors in full and allows outstanding tax obligations to be repaid over years. The landlord will also be repaid the delinquent rent but will have to except monthly payments over the next year. Villa Victoria has made it through the most difficult of times and now has taken the right steps to progress to a brighter, more financially sound future. That news is fortunate for Villa Victoria and the family that held it together, as well as for those in Montclair able to drop by for a slice of pie.