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Club owner cites debts in filing

Club owner cites debts in filing

Rocked by debts and a court judgment, a Clifton Park music club that has hosted gigs featuring ex

Rocked by debts and a court judgment, a Clifton Park music club that has hosted gigs featuring ex-Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell and wispy pop singer Vanessa Carlton is seeking a bankruptcy court’s protection.

Northern Lights Thursday filed for Chapter 11 reorganization in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Albany. In court documents, the 10-year-old club run by J. Kip Finck cited $107,758 in liabilities and $77,034 in assets.

“The purpose of the debtor’s filing is to put the licensing debts behind so that the company can continue to operate profitably,” Finck said in an affidavit filed with the court.

Northern Lights ended last year with $354,000 in gross income. That take was only a 1 percent drop from the previous year’s income. But it was an 18.6 percent plunge from 2005’s $434,000 income. Finck also noted in the affidavit a judgment that has “impaired ongoing operation” at Northern Lights.

It is not clear whether Finck was referring to a collection proceeding initiated by the State Insurance Fund in state Supreme Court in Westchester County. The Albany-based fund has a $12,200 unsecured claim in the case, according to court documents.

Finck and his attorney, Richard Weskopf, did not immediately return calls Thursday seeking comment.

In U.S. District Court, Northern Lights is also facing a copyright infringement suit that Broadcast Music Inc. and several other music studios brought against the club in May. The studios are seeking $40,000 in punitive damages.

The studios want the club to pay $4,000 for each of 10 alleged acts of infringement during which bands performed copyrighted songs such as “Bad to the Bone” and “Brown Eyed Girl.” BMI is the club’s second leading unsecured creditor with a $30,000 claim, according to court documents.

In Clifton Park Town Court, landlord Whitney Lane Holdings is also attempting to recover premises from Northern Lights.

Whitney is the club’s leading unsecured creditor. Northern Lights owes that Long Island firm $56,300 in rent for November and December plus property taxes for January and February. Northern Lights has a lease agreement with Whitney that runs through July, according to court documents.

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