September 27, 2011
Not necessarily any bankruptcy fraud involved, but here is a partial list of famous people who have filed for bankruptcy.
Sonja Morgan (JP Morgan lineage)
Eva Longoria, actress
Lenny Dykstra, baseball player (charged with bankruptcy fraud)
Donald Trump, financier
Michael Jackson, singer
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, composer
Elton John, singer/composer
Kim Bassinger, actress
Mike Tyson, boxer
Mark Twain, humorist
Burt Reynolds, actor
Thomas Jefferson, patriot and president
Gary Coleman, child actor
MC Hammer, rap singer
Willie Nelson, country singer
Lorraine Bracco, “The Soprano’s” actress
Charles Goodyear, inventor of vulcanized rubber
PT Barnum, circus promoter
L. Frank Baum, author of “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”
Mathew Brady, Civil War photographer
Oscar Wilde, playwright
Jerry Lee Lewis, rock singer
Henry Heinz, ketchup magnate
Milton Hershey, chocolate magnate
Henry Ford, auto magnate
Johnny Unitas, football player
Wayne Newton, entertainer
Mickey Rooney, actor
Debbie Reynolds, actress
John Connally, former Texas governor
Walt Disney, creator of Mickey Mouse
Mick Fleetwood, rock singer
Merle Haggard, country singer
Ulysses S. Grant, president and Civil War general
Dorothy Hamill, figure skater
Larry King, talk show host
Bowie Kuhn, former baseball commissioner
Stan Lee, comic book creator of “Spider Man”
September 20, 2011
There is an old saying that "knowledge is Power." There is no place that this is more true than with bankruptcy in general and more specifically with bankruptcy fraud.
Going through bankruptcy for most is a monumental, life changing experience. It should be a monumental, life changing experience. It is a "do over" at one of the highest levels of life. In most cases, individuals are able to take unfortunate circumstance(s) and/or bad financial move(s)(usually that have been compouned over and over) and in a sense, wipe the slate clean in a one time event of starting over.
Most bankruptcies involve tens of thousands of dollars in credit card debt and when houses are involved the total almost always always is going to go into six figures.
The bottomm line here is this. With so much at stake and with all of the facts available via the internet, there is no reason why one cannot become an "expert" on their own personal Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. I recommend that anyone going through bankruptcy visit the bkforum.com website and register to be able to post on the site. The site covers everything related to bankruptcy with individual's personal stories and recommendations. The moderators on this site are excellent as well. For me, this was my starting point in becoming an expert on my bankruptcy and all other research and knowledge spawned from information gained from this site.
So I highly recommend to give bkforum.com a look. Take your bankruptcy seriously. Treat it as a "major project" and one that will have, in a sense, a big payday for you down the road. In the end it will be a great investment of your time.
September 2, 2011
The dreaded 341 Meeting, sometimes referred to as the Meeting of Creditors is the necessary evil that every bankruptcy petitioner must go through. The truth about the 341 meeting is that unless one is committing bankruptcy fraud, there is really very little to worry about at this meeting.
The 341 Meeting will be scheduled approximately 30-45 days after your bankruptcy filing. It is called a 341 meeting after section 341 of the bankruptcy code which makes this a mandatory meeting that must take place before a bankruptcy can be discharged. You, your attorney, the court appointed trustee will be present at this meeting. In addition, any creditor who wishes to challenge a debt can appear at the meeting. It is uncommon that a creditor will show up at a 341 meeting unless there is obvious evidence of bankruptcy fraud of a large enough dollar amount to make it worthwhile for the creditor to pursue a lawsuit. The meeting is really just an information gathering event and is not designed for you to justify the reason for filing for bankruptcy. The majority of the the time there will be 15-20 other bankruptcy petitioners in the room. The meeting, from start to finish, can last 1-2 hours but your part of the meeting usually lasts about 5 minutes. You may leave the room as soon as you are finished with the questioning.
Some possible questions at a 341 meeting are: (Remember you will be under oath)
Please state your name and current address?
Did you state all of your assets and all of your liabilities on your schedule? Have you repaid a family member or friend any money owed in the past year?
Are you anticipating a tax refund this year? If so, how much? Do you anticipate inheriting any money in the next six months?
Has you had any changes in your monthly income since you filed? Have your monthly expenses changes since you filed?
Do you own any real property that is not shown on the schedules?
Are there any additions or corrections to your schedule that you would like to make now?
Have you closed any bank account in the past year?
Have you used credit cards for purchases or cash advances within the past 90 days?
Answers should be kept short, providing specific information to the question asked. Be completely up front and honest to avoid bankruptcy fraud. The trustee most likely will have years of experience and will be able to tell when he/she is getting bogus answers.
For most, the worst part of the 341 meeting is the anticipation of the meeting itself and not the actual meeting. The 341 meeting is in essence just a formality. You mostly likely will get the standard, boiler plate questions and will be out the door a few minutes later. After the 341 meeting, all there is to do is to wait 60 days for your bankruptcy case to be discharged.