Mal Dunn Associates files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

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Mal Dunn Associates, one the of oldest companies in the direct marketing field, filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Friday. The Brewster, NY,-based company filed in Putnam County Court, NY, and a hearing will be held this Wednesday.

Company CEO Stephen Dunn had been working for some time to parlay his company's success in its database division into a new direction for the company altogether. The goal was to downsize and refocus into a database-driven model.

However, despite his making personal loans to the company, its revenues continued to decline. Dunn attributes the downturn in part to "a lot of account attrition û we lost a lot of accounts in a short period of time." Other factors included what he described as the erosion of margins, commissions and mail volumes in the traditional list business. Staff layoffs did not do enough to keep the business afloat, and so Dunn had "no alternative" but to file the Chapter 11 petition.

Dunn began calling creditors and clients once the filing had been made on Friday. "We will be of course setting up a creditors' committee, and talk to them about possible solutions," Dunn said. The committee will include the company's top 20 creditors.

"We do not want to close our doors," he added. "Rather, we are continuing to operate and work toward the best interests of our creditors. We will continue to offer all of our services to a select group of special clients. We want to keep it intact and grow it."

Dunn added that his objective was to focus the company into a data aggregation and database operation.

Dunn said the staff layoff process had been completed, and that there would be no senior management changes.

"We are hoping to satisfy everyone, and move forward," he said.

Dunn is the son of company founder Mal Dunn, who opened the business in 1973.

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