Spokane Journal of Business

Paper Direct slapped with bankruptcy petition

Three companies allege they’re owed thousands on delinquent invoices

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Three Western Washington companies have filed an involuntary petition against Paper Direct Inc., a Spokane maker of corrugated shipping cartons and a distributor of paper products, apparently seeking to force Paper Direct into liquidation under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

The three companies, Commencement Bay Corrugated, of Orting, Wash.; Tharco Inc., of Auburn, Wash.; and Tacoma Rubber Stamp, of Tacoma, Wash., claim Paper Direct owes them about $160,300, $11,700, and $2,100, respectively, on delinquent invoices, according to documents filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court here. Neither David Riley, the Seattle attorney who represents the three companies, nor the owners of Paper Direct could be reached for comment. The documents say the three companies are seeking relief under Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code, which covers liquidations.

Earlier this month, Paper Direct President Thomas Kauffman asked the court in writing for a 20-day extension to obtain legal counsel. Kauffman responded to a summons that required Paper Direct to submit to the court either a motion or an answer to the involuntary petition by July 20.

Paper Direct moved into a 34,000-square-foot leased building in the Spokane Business & Industrial Park last year, after outgrowing its former location, at 4101 E. Broadway. The move nearly tripled the companys space.

Dave Blevins, part owner of Paper Direct, said last September that the company needed additional space to store its inventory and to house new equipment that it had bought. At that same time, Blevins said he expected the company to double its annual revenue, to about $3 million, within the next year.

Paper Direct executives have said the company makes heavy-duty cartons for customers that use them to ship products. Produce distributors, for instance, use the boxes to pack watermelons and other produce items, and manufacturers use the cartons to ship items as heavy as engines.

  • Lisa Harrell

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