Bankruptcies Could Affect Gift Card Values

by Rick Howlett on December 26, 2008

Many people have likely received gifts cards as holiday presents this week, but consumer advocates caution that with the current economic climate, it’s possible such cards could lose their value if the company that issues them goes bankrupt.

Charlie Mattingly with the Better Business Bureau office in Louisville says it all depends on the type of bankruptcy filed. He says companies in Chapter Eleven reorganization can typically continue to honor the cards.

“The risk there is that Chapter Eleven could be converted to a liquidation at some point.   And if it goes into liquidation, if the company actually closes its doors, the customer is going to be last in line at that point,”  Mattingly said.

Mattingly advises as a general rule to use gift cards soon after they’re received.

(Thanks to Dan Modlin,  Kentucky Public Radio/WKYU, Bowling Green)

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