BBB Advice on What to do When a Business Shuts its Doors

June 06, 2012
As a result of difficult economic conditions over the last few years, the number of retailers closing their doors has increased, often leaving shoppers confused and wondering what will happen to the purchases they have paid for but not yet received. Better Business Bureau serving Eastern North Carolina offers advice for consumers regarding steps they can take to recoup their losses if a company closes its doors.

Contact your credit card company. If you paid via credit card, contact your credit card company to dispute the charges. Under federal law, you have 60 days after the charge first appears on the bill to do so.

File a complaint with BBB. If the company has not closed completely, BBB will help you try to resolve the issue.

If the company files for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you have 90 days to file a claim with the bankruptcy court. Forms and more information are available at

If the company files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, it means they intend to stay in business and need time to reorganize. During this time, they typically honor contracts and gift cards, and try to fulfill delivery of goods and services already purchased.

File in small claims court. If the company owner does not file for bankruptcy, consumers can file in small claims court.

For more information, visit