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Clothes locked up in bankrupt dry cleaning stores

The Zoots dry-cleaning store in Attleboro was closed Monday, Jan. 22, 2018. The chain filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. (WJAR Photo)

A Massachusetts dry cleaning chain has announced it has filed for bankruptcy -- leaving customers in the lurch with clothes still checked in at the chain's various locations.

Brockton-based Zoots says plans are being made to return customers' garments on Friday as it announced it had filed for bankruptcy. An attorney representing the dry cleaner said an appointed trustee will oversee the transition, including returning customer's property, and that the process is expected to take about a week.

"Please be patient as plans are being made to get your garments back to you," a post on Zoots' Facebook page says. "You will get further information via email and notices ... posted at our stores."

According to court records, Sort LLC -- the chain's parent company -- filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy Thursday.

That leaves customers wondering when or if they'll get their clothes back.

Customers at most other Zoots shops, like the one in Bellingham, were showing up, trying to find their clothes.

"I don't know what I'm going to do," one woman said. "I just have to out and buy a new pair of pants."

Employees were also shocked.

"It's hard for me because I worked for almost 20 years for the company," said Rafael Llavereas, a tailor at the Attleboro location. "So, now the company closed. I don't know what happened."

Workers told NBC 10 off camera that on their own, they've spent the last few days getting in touch with customers to have them pick up their clothes and even delivered some in their own car.

Zoots' locations are spread throughout central and eastern Massachusetts, including stores in Attleboro, Worcester, Beverly and two locations in Wellesley.

(NBC 10 News contributed to this report.)

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