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Struggling Wisconsin company seeks debt relief

In most places, including Appleton, Wisconsin, residents respect successful people. People root for their "local boys" and "local girls" as they reach for their dreams and make their town proud. This can be said about two Wisconsin residents who were highly regarded by the other residents.

The two people launched an online discount shopping website that became very successful. They sold the company to Microsoft in 2007 for $50 million, making both men and their investors very wealthy. They had planned to use a similar strategy in Alice.com, an online retailing website that allows manufacturers to sell items directly to consumers, which make products less expensive.

The two men, joined by an investor who was also part of their previous endeavor, proceeded with the plan. While the company originally flourished with investments and partnerships, it started to fail because it was in such a highly competitive field. In fact, it was competing against such successful businesses as Amazon and Google. Now, the company is seeking debt relief after listing debts amounting to $7.6 million compared with assets worth $1.4 million, which has prompted them to file for a receivership, which is similar to a bankruptcy, but is filed at the state level.

The journey of the two men, regardless of the troubles they have encountered lately, can serve as an inspiration to other people. Their desire to build a company from scratch and make a name for themselves while making other people earn money as well is truly admirable. Their poise in terms of handling the difficulties of their struggling company is commendable as well.

While some people may dread the idea of bankruptcy, Appleton residents should know better. Financial challenges can easily overwhelm a person or a business. Filing for bankruptcy while dealing with challenges can help keep a person on an even keel. It is a legal way to pay off debts without losing the person's home, property and being subjected to creditor harassment.

Source: Madison.com "Local start-up Alice.com files for corporate bankruptcy," Mike Ivey, Sept. 3, 2013

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