Well eventually the banks, we had a note like when your house is mortgaged, called up and said ‘hey pay my note back' and we couldn't do it. We didn't have 11 or 12 million dollars. So we filed for Chapter 11, my dad went to court for the first time and the court saw what was happening and asked my Uncle to leave. That was a very sad day. My dad didn't know if they were going to ask us to leave or my Uncle's side of the family. The courts sorted it out and from that day my Uncle has not been involved with the company. They asked my father to come out of semi-retirement, with Gordy's help and Serge as a silent partner, to get Vans out of trouble.
In 1984 my dad got the whole company and told them ‘hey if you need a raise in the next three years I can't give it to you, we owe probably 15 million dollars. I'm going to pay this back 100 cents in the dollar.' My dad was very proud of what he built and a lot of people get out of Chapter 11 by paying 10 cents in the dollar and it costs millions in legal fees.
He said no to that, we have to buy rubber from Uni-royal and US rubber, we buy fabric from this company, we buy the outers from this company, the same people that we owe money to.
So we had a plan, it started in 84 and every six weeks my dad would go in with a business plan. He'd come back and say ‘this is what we sold, this is what we are going to sell' and he did that every six weeks.
At one point my Dad had an extra seven or eight payments and told the bank he wanted to give it to them in case something slowed down. The bank said no but they could take it from the back end. My dad at that point had a piece of land and sold it and the next week he paid the bank fully. He wanted to pay the last $50,000 in pennies but found out he would need a dump truck. He hated them because they were trying to liquidate us at every second. One thing about surviving Chapter 11, I realized everything my dad ever had in his life, he was this close to losing and that wasn't fair.
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