But a family in Arkansas is using the bankruptcy as a way to pay it forward.
Carrie Jernigan says she took her kids to the mall in May to buy them some shoes.
When her oldest daughter saw a pair of Avengers sneakers, she told her mother about a boy in her class who loved the Avengers and wore shoes that were too small for him.
So she asked her mother if she could buy them for the classmate.
And Carrie says the question got her thinking.
"While I was checking out, I was just saying how much for the rest of the shoes in the store?" She said, "Can I have your number?" Said Jernigan.
Later that day, Carrie received a call from the district manager of Payless stating that she could buy out the rest of the store that was already closed due to the bankruptcy.
She ended up with 1
The family plans to throw a "back to school" party so each child gets a new pair of shoes for the new school year.