RICHMOND (NEWS1130) – Sterling Shoes is under bankruptcy protection after missing payments on its debt.

The Richmond-based national chain of shoe stores has received BC Supreme Court protection from its creditors, allowing it to stay in business during the restructuring. Sterling says it has the support of its secured lender, the Bank of Montreal. Vancouver’s Belkin family also hold millions of dollars of its debt.

A court-appointed monitor is overseeing the firm while a restructuring plan is drawn up.

Sterling Shoes was founded in 1987. It has 150 stores under that name, Shoe Warehouse, Freedman’s, Joneve and Gia.

The stock was halted at 10 cents; its peak was above $19 in 2007.