The company has been struggling to overcome turnover in top management positions and flagging sales, The (Nashville) Tennessean reported Wednesday.
In court papers, the company said a deal could be reached soon to sell "substantially all" of its assets.
But papers also said the Nashville company begun by David Oreck in 1963 was in "a precarious financial position."
The company plans to secure $11 million through debtor-in-possession financing and to continue operating until it can be restructured and sold. However, the company said, if a deal is not reached soon, "it is possible that a liquidation and wind down of the debtors may ensue."
The company's former, chief executive officer, Doug Cahill, attempted to buy the company from its owner, Black Diamond Capital Management, but could not reach an agreement. He also said he was not getting support for his management strategy, so he left the company in March.
"I didn't like the direction they were taking or how they were dealing with us, so I resigned," he said.
"It's hard to believe a 50 year-old company can be in this bad of shape in 50 days."