If the place I bought my gift certificate at went out of business before I could redeem it, can I make them refund my money?

I purchased a gift certificate for a couples massage but then the spa went out of business a month later. I just want my money back.

Asked on February 9, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Idaho

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The problem is, who will you make refund your money? If the business had been a sole proprietorship, you may be able to sue the owner (if he or she doesn't refund the money voluntarily, the only way to get it is to sue). However, if the business had been a limited liability company (LLC) or corporation (inc.), only the busines itself would be responsible--and if the business is now out of business, there is no one to  collect from.

Note that even if there was someone to seek payment from--for example, the owner of a sole proprietorship--unless it was a *very* large gift certificate, it would likely not be worth suing over.


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