Do you have any unredeemed gift cards lying around your home? Make sure you use them before the store goes out of business. Consumers with unused Borders Bookstore gift cards are now out of luck to the tune of roughly $210.5 million!

Since the bookstore chain closed a couple of years ago, there has been a lot of worry about what would happen with the multimillion dollar value of unused Borders gift cards. Just last week, however, US District Judge Andrew Carter has ruled that consumers won’t be getting a single cent of their money back. In short, there just isn’t enough cash to go around.


Not Enough Pie for Another Slice

When a large company like Borders goes under, consumers with unredeemed gift cards aren’t the only people looking to make sure that they get their money back.

A bankruptcy and liquidation of this magnitude involves a lot of creditors, investors, lawyers, and other moving parts. In short, Judge Carter concluded that consumers won’t get their money back because there’s simply not enough money that belonged to Borders left to go around.

The Consumerist explains:

“It would likely instead upset a liquidation by Borders’ bankruptcy trustee that is already ‘substantially’ completed. Meaning it’s too late now to try because it might risk ruining the whole thing.”

This means that Borders’ assets — all of them — have already been divvied up between the creditors who were owed money and the company’s original investors. There’s nothing left to pay out to former customers.

Analysts estimate that it would take about $50 million to satisfy a class-action lawsuit that might be brought against Borders, if all the gift card holders were to try and get a refund on the credit they never redeemed.

At this point, there’s only $61 million left of Borders’ assets and that’s got to be divided up between the entities that have already made claims. Unfortunately, there just isn’t enough cash for everyone.

Don’t Let This Happen To You

The moral of the story? When you receive a gift card, make sure you use it!  Of course, there’s no fail-safe way to guarantee that you won’t forget your gift cards, but there are a few ways you can make it easier for yourself to remember.

A color photo of the interior of a Borders bookstore shortly before it closed forever.

Many Borders Bookstores displayed these signs alerting consumers that their stores would be closing forever.

Start by simply keeping a list that you update every time you get a gift in the first place. This is a great way to make sure that you always remember to send out those important “thank-you” notes.

When you get a new gift card, just add it to the list. Put the list in a place where you’ll notice it and then you can keep track of your opportunities to save your budget by cashing in the card.

Glance at your list of gift cards periodically and compare it to your shopping or holiday gift lists — you may find that you’ll be able to use your gift cards in unexpected ways.

Another great way to use gift cards? Buy someone else a gift! When that next birthday rolls around, what’s better than a DVD from your local bookseller? (Answer: a DVD that you didn’t have to pay for.)

How do you use your gift cards? Tell us in the comments.


See Also

3 Gift Card Scams to Watch Out For This Holiday Season
FTC To Free Gift Card Text Message Spammers: “Game Over”
How To Get Free Stuff without Signing Up for Spam or Telemarketing Calls

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