Out of Business
What to Do When You Believe a Company has Gone Out of BusinessIf you have paid for goods or services that have not been received, and the company has gone out of business, you can take the following steps to attempt to recoup your money:
1. Try to locate the owner. * Immediately send a letter to the firm's most recent address. The Post Office may have been given a forwarding address and the owner or a business representative may still be responsive to written correspondence.* Check with the company's landlord for updated information or ask neighboring businesses. * Make inquiries of businesses in the same industry who may know what happened.* If you can reach the owner and he or she is unwilling to settle your claim you can file in court or consult your attorney.
2. Check with the appropriate government or regulatory agencies. * If the company was a corporation, check with the Secretary of State to learn the name of the registered agent. A registered agent is often an attorney who may provide additional information. * Contact the appropriate local, state, or federal licensing agency, if the business was subject to regulation (e.g. insurance agency, contractor, doctor, dentist, etc.). If you are unsure if the company was in an industry that required a license, your BBB can provide you with the appropriate agency. * Check with the Business Tax office for the city the business was located in. Businesses often have to register with the city they are operating in for tax purposes.
3. Contact your bank or credit card company, depending on how you paid. If you paid for something you have not received, your bank or credit card company may be able to reverse the charges.
4. Check with the warranty company. If you purchased a product under manufacturer's warranty, the manufacturer may be able to provide some assistance. If you purchased an extended warranty or service contract, it is usually provided and serviced by a third party company and the third party company may be able to assist you.
5. Check with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to see if the company has filed for bankruptcy. Under Chapter 7 bankruptcy you may be able to file a claim as an unsecured creditor, if any money is left after the company's assets have been distributed among its secure creditors.
6. Contact your local police department. If you left any items (e.g. dry cleaning or items for sale on consignment) with a business that is now closed or vacant, the police department may be able to investigate and can assign a case number to you for reference and for use when contacting your credit card or bank.