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Published: 10/4/2010

Ex-Toledo bookseller seeks debt protection

BY SHEENA HARRISON
BLADE BUSINESS WRITER

Daryl Yourist, the public face of Leo's Book Shop during the downtown Toledo shop's last few years, has filed for personal bankruptcy.

His parents, who owned the store until it closed in December, have not yet decided how to handle debts left from the business.

Daryl Yourist, son of Leo and Lilly Yourist, who helped manage their book shop, has filed for Chapter 7 personal bankruptcy. The filing, which was entered in Michigan's eastern district bankruptcy court, lists assets of $74,000 and liabilities of $163,000.

Many of the liabilities were personal debts that Mr. Yourist incurred to help operate Leo's as well a subsidiary called Academi-Text, he said.

Mr. Yourist, 57, said he filed for the liquidation bankruptcy to protect himself from debts that were left over from the businesses which closed Dec. 31.

"I'm only in the very beginning stages of this process," he said. "It may go from Chapter 7 to [Chapter] 13 [debt repayment]. I don't know yet how this is all going to play out."

Mr. Yourist's father opened Leo's Book & Wine Shop in 1967. Mr. Yourist said his father and mother retained ownership of the companies, even after he took a managerial role in 2003.

In December, talking about the decision to close Leo's, the younger Mr. Yourist said the store on North Superior Street was hurt by several factors, including changing consumer trends toward online media, corporate decisions to relocate outside the city's central business district, and political decisions that made it harder to shop downtown.

Now, he said, he is uncertain how his parents plan to handle unpaid debts from their businesses.

"They're caught in a very tough predicament," he said. "I'm sure they're going to have to find a way out of this, and they have good legal counsel."

Mrs. Yourist told The Blade she and her husband have hired an attorney to help them manage debts from their businesses.

"We don't blame anybody," she said, adding that she and her husband have not filed for bankruptcy. "It's just the economy was so bad, and we lost more money going out than coming in."

Liabilities on Daryl Yourist's bankruptcy filing include $47,000 owed to Baker & Taylor Inc., a North Carolina company that distributes books, videos, and music for libraries, institutions, and retailers.

He said that company supplied books for Leo's and Academi-Text, which sold medical, scientific, computer, and business books and software and seminar materials to institutional customers. Baker & Taylor declined to comment.

Other liabilities in the filing include $40,500 owed to KeyBank, $24,600 to Citi Bank, $19,000 to Quicken, and $15,500 to American Express.

Daryl Yourist said he took on business credit lines that were used for Academi-Text and, to a lesser extent, Leo's Book Shop in the companies' later years.

His filing lists $19,500 of his last eight months' worth of salary which was not paid.

He also lists an asset worth nearly $50,000 in "claims in reimbursement" from his parents, which Mr. Yourist said includes money and credit he lent toward his family's businesses.

Mrs. Yourist said she and her husband also did not receive a salary during the final eight months of business at Leo's Book Shop.

Daryl Yourist is now principal of a company called A-Text.com, which operates in partnership with Matthews Book Co., a Missouri company. The firm, which was founded in January and is run out of Mr. Yourist's Monroe home, supplies pamphlets and printed and digital texts for the health-care industry.

He declined to discuss sales for the venture.

Contact Sheena Harrison at:

sharrison@theblade.com

or 419-724-6103.



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