Bill Trage: Review got it wrong

I am writing in response to the July 16 online article with the inaccurate headline “Trage Bros. bankrupt.”

It’s not difficult to grasp the fact that the potential demise of a long-standing business in the community is newsworthy. And it’s no surprise to find a Review article riddled with negativity, drama and misinformation. What makes no sense at all is the relevance my personal financial situation has to the story.

Also puzzling is that while the editor was digging up everything he could find on Trage family finances, he neglected to take the time to get the facts straight.

I am not ashamed of the fact that I had to file bankruptcy. My recent divorce, unsuccessful real estate investments (through my personal LLC – TNT Investments) and other unfortunate circumstances forced my hand. It was pure drama to include an electronic file of my bankruptcy document with the article. However, it serves to make clear that the debtor filing bankruptcy is me – William Trage. As an employee of the appliance store, I would legally be unable to file bankruptcy for the business. The owner of Trage Bros (the business) as well as the property is John Trage … and to my knowledge, Trage Bros. has not filed for bankruptcy protection.

Unfortunately, foreclosures, liens and bankruptcy are a sign of the difficult times many individuals and business owners are facing today. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone, but I’m quite sure that many people can empathize.

The real story here is that a family-owned business that has been a part of the Forest Park business community since 1943 is closing its doors. This is devastating for the Trage family. What should be remembered is my family’s involvement in and support of the community, and the generations of satisfied customers served by my father, grandfather and both John and I.

It’s not likely that this will clear up the editor’s confusion, but if it serves to clarify the facts for everyone else and put an end to the drama, then my purpose has been accomplished.

Bill Trage
Glen Ellyn