SPOKANE, Wash. --- The local Positive Changes franchises have filed for bankruptcy. The hypnosis centers in Washington, Idaho, and Oregon recently closed unexpectedly.
Now, they have filed for bankruptcy.
“I think this company has really helped a lot of people and it’s a testament to the impact that they’ve had on customers’ health,” said Kevin O’Rouke, the attorney for the local franchises.
The national spokesperson for the Iowa based company told KREM 2 they were “in the dark” about the situation until Thursday afternoon, due to the original structure of the company. Corporate, she said, does not have direct control over the privately-owned franchise operated out of Spokane.
The spokesperson said the corporation made several attempts to contact the Spokane office, and the franchise’s attorney and have not gotten responses from either until Thursday.
"The national franchisor cannot comment on the business decisions made by independent, local owners," the national company said in a statement Thursday afternoon, after learning that ET Research had filed for bankruptcy. "We are concerned about the impact this has on the staff and clients of ET Research."
According to documents filed with bankruptcy court, 21 different companies affiliate with Positive Changes have filed for bankruptcy starting in 2001, and most recently in 2010.
Eleven of the 21 that filed were granted bankruptcy. Some filed for an estimated $100,000 to $500,000 in debts.
The hypnosis industry in general has had multiple businesses file for bankruptcy in recent history, court records show. In fact, a hypnosis company in Western Washington was recently granted bankruptcy.
The spokesperson for the national Positive Changes company said they updated their phone message to reflect the closures of the Northwest branches.
She said they did that as a way to help customers since the Northwest offices are being silent on the matter.
Corporate is encouraging customers to call 877-POSITIVE and they plan to contact those clients once they figure out what is going on.
Thursday, there was an eviction notice posted on the front door of the Spokane Positive Changes office.