Famous Cases of Personal Bankruptcy

Personal Bankruptcy

If you find yourself bogged down with so many financial problems that you are considering bankruptcy, you’re in good company. Money problems can occur even to the richest and most famous celebrities. Just like the average person, when the rich and famous make mistakes or mismanage their funds, they can wind up harassed by creditors and faced with foreclosure of their homes, repossession of their cars, and loss of their assets.

Fortunately, for anyone in a situation where debt is more than they can handle, bankruptcy can be a valuable tool to provide the fresh start needed on the road to financial recovery. If you’re a good candidate for bankruptcy, filing can keep creditors from harassing you and seizing your possessions, allow debts to be forgiven, and provide a way for you to keep your assets and begin to rebuild your life.

How do you know if bankruptcy is right for you? The skilled and seasoned Ohio bankruptcy attorneys at Fesenmyer Cousino Weinzimmer understand that financial problems can happen to even the most well-intentioned people. We offer a free consultation to examine your situation, so call one of our conveniently located office branches at 614-228-4435 (Columbus), 937-222-7472 (Dayton), or 877-654-5297 (Cincinnati) or email for your free consultation.

Here are examples of some famous people who had to declare bankruptcy:

Donald Trump
While Trump has never personally declared bankruptcy, he has had business failures that led his companies to go bankrupt six times, according to Politifact. In 1991, his Trump Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City went bankrupt, followed by casinos and hotel failures leading to bankruptcies in 1992, 2004 and 2009. Trump boasts that declaring Chapter 11 bankruptcies is a strategic business decision and that he uses the laws to his advantage.

Francis Ford Coppola
Movie director Francis Ford Coppola filed for his second bankruptcy protection in 1992, with assets listed at $52 million and liabilities at $98 million, according to the New York Times. He blamed the majority of his debt on the failure of the movie “One From The Heart,” which cost $27 million to film but earned only $4 million.

Kim Basinger
Kim Basinger is an Oscar-winning actress who found herself declaring bankruptcy in the early 1990s after she reneged on an agreement to appear in the film “Boxing Helena” and was ordered to pay $8.1 million to Main Line Pictures.

Basinger has bounced back by appearing in films that include “8 Mile” and “Cellular,” and her net worth last year was estimated at $36 million.

Larry King
Larry King, who currently has an estimated net worth of $150 million, filed for bankruptcy in 1978, with a debt of $352,000. King struggled to find a journalism job for years but turned things around when CNN offered him a late-night talk radio show in Washington, D.C. The “Larry King Live” show ran for 25 years, and King still does two web talk shows and “Larry King Now,” on Ora.tv.

Mike Tyson
Boxer Mike Tyson earned $400 million over the course of his 20-year boxing career, according to the New York Times, but filed for bankruptcy in 2003, with a total of $23 million in debt. Among his debts was a $9 million divorce settlement, $13.4 million to the IRS, and $4 million to the British tax authorities. Tyson is rebounding due to a memoir released in 2013 and a TV show, “Mike Tyson Mysteries.”

Marvin Gaye
Motown legend Marvin Gaye’s divorce from his first wife, Anna Gordy Gaye, caused him to file for bankruptcy in 1976 to cover the $600,000 he owed in alimony payments. To settle his debts, Gaye gave Anna the royalty rights to his album “Here, My Dear.”

Financial troubles, problems with the IRS, and drug addiction followed him, although he continued to record albums and perform until he was killed in 1984, shot by his father. Marvin Gaye’s estate has an estimated net worth of $5 million.

Meat Loaf
The singer Meat Loaf filed for bankruptcy in the ’80s after a lawsuit by songwriter Jim Steinman. Since then, Meat Loaf has released a hit album in 1993, has acted in movies, released the TV series “VH1 Storytellers,” and published an autobiography. His current net worth is estimated at $25 million.

Curt Schilling
Although, according to ESPN, former MLB pitcher Curt Schilling earned just over $114 million during his 19-year career, he lost his fortune when he founded a video-game company that filed for bankruptcy in 2012. He was forced to sell many of his possessions, including his $3 million Massachusetts home.

He underwent an eight-month battle with cancer, but was able to return to work in 2014 as an analyst for ESPN.

Cyndi Lauper
Cyndi Lauper started her career singing and writing songs for the group Blue Angel, but lack of success caused her to file for bankruptcy in 1981. She sang in a Japanese restaurant and worked retail before finally releasing a hit album, “She’s So Unusual,” in 1983. She co-wrote a song to raise money for pediatric cancer research and currently has an estimated net worth of $30 million.

Teresa Giudice
Teresa Giudice, star of The Real Housewives of New Jersey, and her husband first filed for bankruptcy in 2009. After the initial filing, the couple was charged by creditors with hiding some of their assets, leading to charges of bankruptcy fraud and conspiracy to commit wire and bank fraud. Teresa served time in federal prison, and her husband is still incarcerated.

She finally settled her bankruptcy case in 2016, and is reportedly paying back taxes to both the IRS and the New Jersey Department of Revenue.

Contact Us for Help and a Free Consultation

While filing for bankruptcy may be a last resort, doing so is often the best way to free yourself of debt, get a fresh financial start, and get on the path to a brighter future. If you’re a good candidate for bankruptcy, filing can keep creditors from harassing you and seizing your possessions, allow debts to be forgiven, and provide a way for you to keep many of your assets and begin to rebuild your life.

The skilled and seasoned Ohio bankruptcy attorneys at Fesenmyer Cousino Weinzimmer understand the difficulties involved. If you find yourself overwhelmed with financial problems, we will work with you to make sure you understand your options and help you decide on solutions that make sense in your individual case. We offer a free consultation to examine your situation, so call one of our conveniently located office branches at 614-228-4435 (Columbus), 937-222-7472 (Dayton), or 877-654-5297 (Cincinnati) or email for your free consultation.

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