Many Americans have strong feelings, positive and negative, about our new president and his financial history. Some are impressed, even dazzled, by his many eponymous businesses and displays of apparent personal wealth. Others are skeptical about President Trump’s tax returns and his history of business bankruptcy filings.
President Trump and many other famous and infamous people have used bankruptcy to get out of debt. In certain circumstances, you can use federal law to your advantage — to discharge debts, set up an affordable payment plan on your debts, or both. Right now, if you are under the pressure of debt payments that you can’t afford to make, you may want to consider talking to an experienced bankruptcy attorney.
Isn’t my personal bankruptcy different from Trump’s business bankruptcies?
In some ways, yes, and in some ways, no. In theory, any bankruptcy case is about debt that is owed, regardless of how big the numbers are. But it can be argued that personal debt is a more emotional thing than corporate debt. The stress of your debt can directly affect your family on a daily basis.
The federal bankruptcy code allows individuals and businesses to obtain debt relief by filing under Chapter 7, Chapter 13, Chapter 11 and other chapters of the code. A petitioner files for bankruptcy in federal court, and a judge ultimately makes a decision about what will happen to the debt. Many corporations and municipalities have filed for bankruptcy, and regular people file because of excessive medical debt, unaffordable credit card debt, mortgage issues and many other problems.
According to some sources, like a 2015 CNN Money article, Trump businesses have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on four occasions, as recently as 2009. The Washington Post reported that the number is actually six, citing a second Trump Hotels and Casinos Resorts bankruptcy in 2004 and a Trump Entertainment Resorts bankruptcy in 2009.
Is bankruptcy appropriate for me?
Virtually everyone has an opinion about debt and what to do about it. Regardless of what you think about Trump’s Chapter 11 filings or an average Joe’s Chapter 7, the fact is that a strategically executed bankruptcy can bring great relief, and it is a perfectly legal thing to do.
If you are wondering if your financial problems can be addressed in bankruptcy, discuss your debt situation with a qualified bankruptcy lawyer. Generally, you can get your questions answered free of charge.