Gift cards and bankruptcy: What to do when stores go broke

What would you do if you purchased a gift card today and found out next week that the gift card issuer had gone bankrupt? The current economic meltdown has driven some well-known companies to file for bankruptcy:

These bankruptcies have left thousands of people in a panic about what to do with the gift cards they hold to these merchants. As the economy worsens, more retailers are expected to go out of business. So, how do you protect yourself from ending up with a gift card that you can no longer use?

Get on the Phone

If your gift-card issuer files for bankruptcy, the first thing you should do is call the nearest store to find out if they are still accepting gift cards. Companies that file for bankruptcy can petition the bankruptcy court to allow them to continue the redemption of gift cards, as seem recently with Linens ‘n Things and Steve & Barry's.

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More about...Economics, Planning