BURNSVILLE, Minn. - Minnesota pawn store chain Pawn America has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The Burnsville-based company filed papers in Minnesota Bankruptcy Court on Wednesday. The Star Tribune reports the company owes between $10 and $50 million to hundreds of contractors.

Pawn America first opened a Robbinsdale location in 1991. The company is known for its "Payday America" division, which lets consumers cash checks and get loans through a separate location.

The company expanded across Minnesota and eventually into Wisconsin and the Dakotas. There are now 24 locations in four states with a company payroll of more than 500 employees.

Brad Rixmann, the President and CEO, is a native of Hibbing. He is one of six Minnesotans to win Ernst & Young's Entrepreneurs of the Year award.