Toys R Us filed for Chapter 11 last year in hopes of reorganizing and saving some stores. That effort failed.

“I don’t want to grow up! I’m a Toys R Us kid!” That iconic jingle accompanied Toys R Us commercials. But now the demise of the beloved toy store has forced us all to grow up and fish those unused gift cards out of our wallets. If you have a Toys R Us gift card, you have 30 days to use it. That’s it. And that's more generous than when some stores go bankrupt.

Do you remember The Limited at Marketplace Mall in Henrietta, NY?. When it closed, folks with gift cards were left holding worthless pieces of plastic. That's because your gift card is unsecured debt, and secured creditors, like banks, get paid first.

The kind of bankruptcy filing makes a difference too. If the store files Chapter 7, you're likely out of luck. But if it files for Chapter 11, the retailer is closing some but not all stores and may honor your gift card. But the retailer will still have to ask the bankruptcy judge for permission to honor gift cards, and your card may or may not be redeemed for its full value.

Toys R Us filed for Chapter 11 last year in hopes of reorganizing and saving some stores. That effort failed.

The store in Greece is already liquidating. The Toys R Us in Henrietta will be began liquidating on March 22nd. Products will be limited. But remember you can also use your gift card online. But do it quickly. Toys R Us will soon be no more.

If you can’t remember how much your Toys R Us gift card is worth, you can easily find out at the company’s website.

Moody’s Investors Service is a bond credit rating service that determines the financial health of businesses. It released a list on Wednesday of retailers at showing serious signs of financial distress.

A business with a rating of Caa Ca or C range from a very high credit risk to default.

Check the published list.

If you have a gift card from one of the listed companies, spend it quickly.

There are no guarantees you’ll be able to recover the full value if and when the company declares bankruptcy.