4:01 am
Tue March 3, 2009

CertifiChecks Files for Bankruptcy

Murray, KY – The company that provides gift certificates to Chambers of Commerce across western Kentucky has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Carrie Pond speaks with Murray-Calloway County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Lance Allison about what this means for consumers.

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Allison says chambers buy gift certificates directly from the company CertifiChecks to sell at their offices. Consumers can then purchase the certificates and use them at member businesses. Allison says the idea of the program is to encourage spending at local businesses. He says chambers of commerce nationwide use the company, which isn't promising for those looking to recoup costs.

"You're looking at several zeros worth of money that's out there right now and several chambers of commerce that's going to be in line. So the actual reality of getting any of that money back and recovering it will probably be slim to none."

Allison says the chamber switched over to an in-house "Chamber Check" program about two weeks ago. Those certificates are still valid because they aren't affiliated with the CertifiChecks company. Consumers who have yet to redeem their CertifiChecks, however, won't be able to use them. He says the chamber is taking a wait-and-see approach before deciding how to proceed with possible refunds. The Hopkinsville Chamber of Commerce has instructed those with unredeemed CertifiChecks to hold onto them until more information is available.