Bankruptcy: Understanding your consumer rights

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — After saying yes to the dress, thousands of Alfred Angelo brides-to-be were stuck looking for a new dress after the retailer closed all of their 61 stores last week without warning.

Several other stores stepped in to help but with so many retailers going out of business these days, it's a perfect time to consider what rights you have.

If you made a purchase but didn't receive all the goods or services, experts said the first step is to gather all of your receipts, contracts or invoices that show when you paid and when delivery was promised.

How you paid is also important.

If you paid with a credit card, contact your company to dispute the charges.

If you paid with a check, see if you can stop the payment.

If you arranged for financing, contact the financing company to dispute any goods or services that were never delivered.

Of course, you also need to contact the business itself to find out how they're handling unresolved issues and file a formal complaint if necessary.

Sometimes companies have a separate website for bankruptcies.

You also need to file a complaint with the state Consumer Affairs Office or the Attorney General's Office to see if they can intervene.