Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Celebrities File for Bankruptcy too?

If you are hesitant about considering Bankruptcy as an alternative to solving your Financial Difficulties, consider that even people who make millions of dollars get into debt and have no qualms about discharging their debt through Bankruptcy Protection. The following is list of famous/infamous people that fell into the same trap that many regular folks fall into. That trap is that Creditors and Credit Card Companies thrive when their clients are stuck in perpetual debt and have no means of escaping the "minimum monthly payment" black hole.

Burt Reynolds-Movie actor, filed for bankruptcy in 1996 in Florida after his much publicized divorce from Loni Anderson. He had more than $10 million in debt. His dinner theater was foreclosed on by the mortgage lender and his ranch was sold. Since his bankruptcy he has continued to act in movies and was awarded the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor in the film Boogie Nights.

Kim Bassinger-Movie actress, earned so much money from her movies that she was able to purchase the town of Braselton, Georgia. After the purchase she was sued for breach of contract for pulling out of the movie, Boxing Helena. She was not able to pay the damages resulting from the suit and filed for bankruptcy in 1993. As part of her bankruptcy she sold the town. She later married Alec Baldwin, had a child and won an Oscar for her role in the movie L.A. Confidential.

Gary Coleman-Television Actor, Coleman filed for bankruptcy in 1999; he attributed his financial problems to mismanagement of his trust by his parents.

Debbie Reynolds-Movie actress, purchased a hotel in Las Vegas in 1992 and called it the Debbie Reynolds Hotel and Casino. She thought she could operate the hotel successfully, however, it was plagued by a weak cash flow almost from the start. In July 1997 the hotel filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and Ms. Reynolds filed for personal bankruptcy.

Larry King- Talk show host, filed for bankruptcy in 1960 and then again in 1978. He said each time that he was deep in debt.

Mickey Rooney-Movie actor, blames alcohol and gambling for the financial problems he suffered in the early 1960's. He owed the Internal Revenue Service $1.75 million and filed for bankruptcy in 1962. After the bankruptcy he continued to act and has had many roles in movies and television. He is still preforming live shows today.

Lorraine Bracco-Actress, Her role in the sopranos as Tony's Therapist made her famous. Bracco was engaged in a five-year legal battle with ex-husband, Harvey Kietel. In 1999, the huge legal fees and taxes forced her to file for bankruptcy.

Lenny Bruce-Controversial Comedian, In 1962 Bruce filed for bankruptcy in U.S. District Court in San Francisco due to mounting legal fees and being blacklisted in many nightclubs.

MC Hammer-Hip-Hop Artist, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 1996 because he did not have the income to support his lavish lifestyle and defend all the lawsuits that were filed against him.

Jerry Lee Lewis-Rock n' Roll star, filed for bankruptcy in 1988 because of huge tax debts. The IRS seized his cars, furniture, baby grand piano and even showed up at his concerts to collect ticket sales. He has since recovered from bankruptcy and still gives live concerts.

Wayne Newton-Las Vegas entertainer, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 1992 listing more than $20 million in debt. A few years later he signed a new contract with Stardust Hotel which pays him reportedly over $25 million per year for preforming at the hotel 40 weeks a year for 10 years.

Tom Petty-Rock Musician, After the release of their second album in 1978, the band was dragged into a legal dispute when ABC Records was sold to MCA Records. Petty refused to simply be transferred to another record label without his consent. He held fast to his principles for nine long months, which eventually led to him filing for bankruptcy.

George Clinton-Funk Musician, In the 1980s Clinton's career was marred by multiple legal problems which, resulted in financial difficulties primarily due to complex royalty and copyright issues. In 1984, Clinton filed for Bankruptcy, he has since recovered financially because of his music was heavily sampled by Hip-Hop artists throughout the 1990s and 2000s.

Vic Damone-Italian-American lounge singer, he had to declare bankruptcy in the early 1970s due to marital issues but earned enough as a casino performer to clear up his financial difficulties.

Mike Tyson-professional fighter, filed a Chapter 11 case in August of 2003 because he was not able to pay all his bills. According to Tyson, His lifestyle demands $400,000 a month to maintain.

Derek Sanderson-A former football star. In 1972, he signed a contract for a record breaking $2.65 million and lost it all to alcoholism and a string of bad investments. Back on his financial feet, he now advises athletes on how to avoid his mistakes.

Michael Vick-The former National Football League star quarterback is currently serving a 23-month prison sentence for his role in a dogfighting ring. The filing came after Vick failed to resolve a legal dispute with one large creditor, Joel Enterprises Inc., which is owed $4.5 million for breach of contract.

Johnny Unitas-Hall of Fame football quarterback, each of his business ventures, including bowling alleys, land deals and restaurants were unsuccessful. He filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 1991.

Lawrence Taylor-In an attempt to keep creditors from seizing his $605,000 house in Upper Saddle River, New Jersey. Former NY Giants Great and Hall of Famer filed for Chapter 7 Personal Bankruptcy.

Tony Gwynn-San Diego Padres baseball player and Hall of Famer, files for bankruptcy
in 1989, citing problems caused by his accountant.

Business People:
P.T. Barnum-the greatest American showman, filed for bankruptcy in 1871 due to losses he incurred in unwise business ventures. After bankruptcy he organized his famous circus, "The Greatest Show On Earth." In 1881 he merged his circus with his most successful competitor, James A. Bailey, under the name of Barnum and Bailey Circus.

Donald Trump-Businessman, filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy case for his casino empire in 2004 to reorganize his business after negotiations with his creditors failed. This was the second bankruptcy case for his casino business, in 1992 he had filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy as well.

Walt Disney-Cartoon creator, filed for bankruptcy in 1920 after his main client of his new business filed bankruptcy. Disney said he could no longer pay his employees or the rent and had no choice but to file bankruptcy himself. In 1923 her formed a new company with a loan from his parents and his brother. In 1928 her created “Mickey Mouse” and the rest is history.

Henry Ford-Automobile manufacturer, his first Automobile company, Detroit Automobile Company filed for bankruptcy in 1901. In June 1903, he created the Ford Motor Company with a cash investment of $28,000.00. By July of 1903 the bank balance had dwindled to $223.65, but then Ford sold its first car and never looked back.

Henry John Heinz-Condiment manufacturer, started his company in 1869 selling horseradish, pickles, sauerkraut and vinegar. In 1875 the company filed for bankruptcy due to an unexpected bumper harvest which the company could not keep up with and could not meet its payroll obligations. He immediately started a new company and introduced a new condiment, tomato ketchup to the market. This company continues to be very prosperous.

Bob Guccione-Magazine Publisher, Numerous unsuccessful investments on Guccione's part, including a never-built nuclear power plant and a casino which, cost him in excess of $100 million. In 2003, He filed a bankruptcy reorganization plan that will put a new group of creditors in charge of his publishing empire.

Other Notable People:

Oscar Wilde-Poet and author, was forced into bankruptcy in 1895. He had earlier been convicted of Solicit activity and was sentenced to two years in prison. He declared bankruptcy on November 12, 1895 and his property was auctioned off. After being released from prison he published his poem, The Ballad of Reading Gaol.

Mark Twain-American author, lost most of his money investing in a worthless machine called the Paige Compositor, an automatic typesetting machine. He filed for bankruptcy in 1894 and discharged all his debts. He wrote several of his more famous books after filing bankruptcy including "Pudd'nhead Wilson" and "Following the Equator."

Rembrandt-Famous Dutch painter, accumulated more debts than he could repay and filed for bankruptcy at the age of 50 in 1656. Many of Rembrandt's paintings and his house were sold at an auction. After the bankruptcy, he continued to paint but was not allowed to sell his works directly to customers. He was able to circumvent this law by having his son take over his business and sell his paintings.

William Fox-American motion picture executive, who founded the Fox Film Corporation in 1915. Although Fox sold his interest in the company in a 1936 bankruptcy settlement, his name lives on as the namesake of the FOX Television Network and the 20th Century Fox film studio.

That list just names a few people who made millions in their lifetime but were left with no choice but to file for Bankruptcy. They should be embarrassed because their transgressions allowed them to squander millions of dollars. For a more comprehensive list visit: http://rjabankruptcy.com/articles/famousindividuals.html

Ordinary people who are struggling to make ends-meat should not feel the same embarrassment because their financial difficulties were not caused by extravagant lifestyles, shady business deals or untrustworthy friends.
Most people's financial difficulties are caused by medical, marital or employment issues which can happen to anybody and should not be a cause for embarrassment. If you feel that you need some to discuss your financial hardships with, contact a certified Bankruptcy attorney in your area and get some straight forward answers on how to resolve your financial struggles with out digging a deeper hole. In the NY/NJ, you could visit www.njbills.com or dial 1(732)681-6800 for additional information.

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Foreclosure Rates in New Jersey Hit an All-Time High

The numbers are staggering; the foreclosure rates in New Jersey have reached astronomical proportions. Now, more than ever homeowners must find a way to protect their home and assets. Mortgage companies and other vendors were all too eager to give out large loans with fluctuating interest rates during the real estate boom that occurred in the last several years. Now, many middle class communities are paying the ultimate price. Recent statistics compiled by CNN Money indicate that as many as 1 in every 9 homes is in danger of being foreclosed on. Some communities have whole blocks where a majority of the homes have ominous “for sale” signs in the front yard. Luckily for residents of New Jersey, the foreclosure process in this particular state is much more thorough than in many other states. Many states the process could be over in less than two months. New Jersey has very specific legislation that makes the foreclosure process somewhat more complicated and on average most homes are not completely foreclosed on for about nine months.
Due to the fact that in New Jersey this process is more drawn out, there are many companies out there who claim that they can find away to compromise with mortgage companies and lenders. Most of these companies simply charge the homeowner a few thousand dollars to file a forbearance agreement. A forbearance agreement can be filed for a variety of reasons. It is important for homeowners to know who is eligible to file a forbearance agreement. People serving in the armed forces, people who are attending school and people who are simply having financial difficulties that can be documented can file a forbearance agreement. The forbearance agreement is usually rejected and the company has no further course of action because they need to have lawyer’s working for them in order to appeal the decision. Most of these companies don’t expect the forbearance agreement to be accepted and they cannot file an appeal because they are simply not attorneys. The odd part about all this is that most Mortgage companies and lenders would rather keep these homeowners and have them pay a monthly payment with interest rather than sell the house at an auction for significantly less money.
The problem with these quick fix mortgage negotiators is that since they are not attorneys they have no idea how to deal with the attorneys of the mortgage companies. It is very important that the forbearance agreement is put together by state certified bankruptcy attorney who has the know-how and expertise that is necessary when dealing with high profile lawyers that represent many of these mortgage companies. A state certified attorney also has the ability to file an appeal if the forbearance agreement is initially rejected. This will at the very least bide some more time for the homeowners to get their finances in order. If the appeal fails as well, many home owners have one last option, which is filing for bankruptcy and although this is not an easy process, most would agree it is better than losing you home.
The American dream is something people work hard to achieve and some bad luck and bad decision-making could cost some people their most prized possession. Their home, where they watched their family come together and their lives change in so many ways. This is a very difficult subject for most people, but it is very important to know what your options are just in case a tragedy like this occurs. It is also important to know that there are people out there who would genuinely like to help. Local bankruptcy attorney, James Cerbone is offering free consultations for people in danger of being foreclosed on. He is even willing to file a forbearance agreement free of charge if the situation warrants it. He has a vested interest in the community because he grew up here and is currently raising his own kids here. He would much rather see Ocean and Monmouth county prosper and thrive. He also feels that for the most part people who are in danger of losing their homes are not totally at fault. There are several other factors, including the stock market, credit cards, the value of the dollar and the job market. Most people who are fiscally responsible but hit a streak of bad luck are given a second chance and are able to recover in the long run. The key is to not be taken advantage by people who claim they can help you but end up hurting you even more. Do not go for the quick fix, make sure you do the research and always make sure to consult an attorney who specializes in this field.
James J. Cerbone is one of only a handful of board certified bankruptcy attorneys in the state of New Jersey. He specializes in Personal Bankruptcy, Business Bankruptcy, Foreclosures and Tax Law. Mr. Cerbone holds a LL.M. (Advanced Law Degree) in Trial Advocacy. He is licensed to practice in both New Jersey and New York. He has a highly respected practice that has helped thousands of families in the central and southern New Jersey areas for over 15 years. His offices are located at 2130 Rt. 35 Building B, Suite 227 in Sea Girt, NJ 08750. A free consultation can be scheduled by dialing (732) 681-6800. You can learn more about the foreclosure and bankruptcy process by visiting www.NJBills.com