NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - COVID-19 continues to have a financial impact on businesses all over.

News4 has reported how stores like Pier 1 and J.C. Penney are closing its doors. 

Other stores are filing for bankruptcy. 

So what does this mean for you if you have gift cards to these places you still haven't used? Consumer Investigator Lindsay Bramson is always watching out for your money and found out what you need to know.

“Make sure to read the terms and conditions to see if in fact the value never changes,” said Robyn Householder who is the President and CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Middle Tennessee. 

You can usually find this information on the back of the card. You also want to check to see if there's an expiration date.

“Most gift cards never expire and under federal law when there is a chapter 11, the consumer has up to 5 years to file a claim and recoup dollars,” said Householder.

There are two types of bankruptcy a company might file for. 

Chapter 7 and Chapter 11, which is a bit more forgiving to a consumer.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy, on the other hand, leaves it up to the courts to decide if you get any of that money.

Pier 1 is closing all of it's stores because of COVID-19.

Bath And Body Works is closing 50 stores and J.C. Penney is closing more than 200 of its stores. 

But don't worry, you should still be able to use those gift cards online; the sooner you do it, the better.

“You just don’t know what the status of a business is going to be down the road so we recommend not holding onto gift cards,” said Householder.

Something else you want to watch out for are unsolicited emails. 

If you get an email from someone asking you to use a gift card, Householder says it's most likely a scam. 

You can also always contact the BBB of Middle Tennessee for help and guidance if a store if giving you trouble using your card. 

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