MONTVALE, New Jersey (

TheStreet

) --

Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea

(GAP)

, the grocery chain better known as A&P, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Sunday.

It listed debts of more than $3.2 billion and assets of about $2.5 billion in a petition the company filed in bankruptcy court in White Plains, N.Y.

A&P was once the country's largest grocery company. It now operates just 400 stores under the A&P, Walbaum's and Pathmark names in the Northeast.

A&P said it has secured $800 million in debtor-in-possession financing through

JPMorgan Chase

to allow it to keep operating while in bankruptcy.

A&P shares tumbled Friday

by more than 67% to 93 cents before being halted in the afternoon on rumors of the possible bankruptcy filing.

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

>To contact the writer of this article, click here:

Joseph Woelfel

>To submit a news tip, send an email to:

tips@thestreet.com

.

Copyright 2010 TheStreet.com Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.