Desperately need help 20th Century TV & Stereo

  I'm Mitch Lewczuk, founder of 20th Century TV and Stereo Center. I run Audio/Video repair and sales business for over 48 years, 82,950 customers on records, the same rented location at 1615 W. Montrose Ave, Chicago, IL 60613.
The building was bought for resale in 2013 by Windy City RE, LLC, owned by Amy Rubenstein, Joshua Rubenstein and Milan Rubenstein. For 5 years we had plaster dropping out of ceiling on equipment displayed in the windows, defected door, water dropping out of the roof, damaged steps to the basement, 1 heater for 2 rooms. We were under lease with previous owner for two years. Numerous times I tried to get a sketch of future lease: manager was clueless and not allowed to give contact information to the owners. Three months before our previous lease expired rep of owners requested we vacate 1 of our 3 rooms in 3 months (for laundromat), if not,rent for the room will be $2,000/mo until we remove all our staff. The rent for our now 2 rooms will be the same as for previous 3 rooms + 3%. We renegotiated 3% down for first year and got promise that a new roof will be installed (never happened).
We're in not profitable business, with a lot of obligations to repair customers' sets waiting for hard to find obsolete parts, so no money and time to relocate within 3 months not mentioned necessity to change address, licenses etc in autumn of our carrier. We had to hire junk remover company to dispose over 30 working TVs and other bulky equipment, donate expensive equipment, put good desk in the alley. We hired contractor to put   additional shelving in one of our rooms. We hired men to carry remaining electronics to others rooms and basement. We tried to reorganize but no spare time. 
Our health (we were almost 80 y old), finances and reputation got ruined. A delay in repairs, couldn't locate some of customers sets. One of our customers told us that in 1 week he will bring a truck, threw in all our inventory until he will find his set. Luckily I found his set 15 minutes after he left. The other recently called police, next filed complaint in The Circuit Court of Cook County. I work 1 month each night trying to locate sets. Found his, finished repair and notify him 3 days after he filed complaint. Now he didn't want his receiver back but $380 + $200 court fees. We paid him at the beginning of January.
Now I got a notice from Administrative Hearing Appearance to City of Chicago to be lectured that I'm obligated to notify customer in writing if set was not repaired within 60 days. In our opinion they should start to do real work or hire for me customer service paid by taxpayers.
Luckily our other customers are patient, understanding , polite and helpful.
When building was under selling contract again, rep of Windy City ( a half of my age ) asked me not to tell appraiser that the roof is leaking. Mrs Amy Rubenstein refused to give us back our Security Deposit claiming that she didn't  get it. Now I know that it is against Illinois law, she need to pay if she got it or not. We sent twice email, so far no answer.
Due to expensive loans we have to pay back, we were unable to pay rent for DEC and JAN: EVICTION is coming on JAN 31, unless we pay. Building was sold in 2016 (for resale, sic!). We got quite few threats of eviction by phone and in person by current manager.  Current owner (using translator to communicate as manager told us) is selling now and our delayed rent can spoil the sale!
We pay other bills on time but our loans and max credit cards gave us first time in our life risky FICO score, so we got funding offers with 92 % and 120 % APR (our calculation, lenders do not reveal that.)  Deadline is coming. We plan to stay in business for at least 10 more years. We'll appreciate any donations. Also maybe you can lend us money before Jan 31, We'll pay back in 6 month with interest. Our 2 loans will be paid back in May. Thank you!

Donations

  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 7 d
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 12 d
  • Jane Pajor 
    • $25 
    • 12 d
  • Anonymous 
    • $20 
    • 12 d
  • Steve Karall 
    • $50 
    • 17 d
See all

Organizer

Urszula Lewczuk 
Organizer
Chicago, IL
  • #1 fundraising platform

    People have raised more money on GoFundMe than anywhere else. Learn more

  • GoFundMe Guarantee

    In the rare case that something isn’t right, we will refund your donation. Learn more

  • Expert advice, 24/7

    Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more