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Owner of oil company files for Chapter 7 bankruptcy

The owner of a once-prominent oil distributor has moved to dissolve his company in the face of overwhelming debt, according to local business news. Michigan residents may be familiar with oil magnate Richard Norton and his company Norton Oil Co., which closed its doors abruptly in November of this year. Now, the company has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in order to satisfy the creditors still waiting to be paid.

According to the bankruptcy paperwork, the creditors currently hold approximately $553,000 in secured assets including the home mortgaged by Norton and his wife, as well as the couple's primary vehicle. There is an additional $704,000 being held in unsecured claims, for a total of approximately $1.25 million in liabilities. The company claims $703,000 in assets.

The bankruptcy filing came only a day before the company was slated to appear in court to face approximately 10 small claims charges. Representation for Norton Oil Co. indicated the company would not have been able to survive a Chapter 11 debt restructuring, which is why the decision was made to pursue this alternative avenue. It is hoped the dissolution of the company will free up the funds required to satisfy outstanding creditors.

It is not an easy choice to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, as some Michigan business owners are aware. It is a decision that takes a great deal of soul-searching and internal strength to see through, but the results can be very beneficial. In the case of Norton Oil, it is hoped Mr. and Mrs. Norton will be able to move forward from these proceedings to new nad successful business ventures.

Source:, Richard Norton, owner of Norton Oil Co., files for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, Matthew Bultman, Dec. 18, 2013

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