No one is immune to financial problems, even the wealthy. If you are struggling with debt you can’t afford, and you’re considering a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy as a means of relief, not only are you not alone — you are in incredible company!

The list of famous Americans who have obtained bankruptcy protection from creditors is very long and quite interesting. It includes:

  • Musicians like Cyndi Lauper, Marvin Gaye, Tom Petty and 50 Cent.
  • Athletes like Curt Schilling and Mike Tyson.
  • U.S. presidents Donald Trump (on multiple occasions) and Abraham Lincoln. (By numerous accounts, Thomas Jefferson had serious financial problems, most notably at the end of his life.)
  • Actors and entertainers like Burt Reynolds, Kim Basinger and Larry King.
  • Successful entrepreneurs like Walt Disney and Henry Ford.

The question is: How much do you have in common with the rich and famous who have declared bankruptcy? The short answer is: Probably more than you think!

A serious problem

Nobody wakes up one day and decides that it would be fun to file for bankruptcy. But nobody wakes up looking to lose their job, see their business tank, get sick or get divorced, either.

Life happens to all of us, regardless of our income or fame level. Difficult events and disappointments can lead to a pile of debt, whether the debt presents itself in the form of credit card balances, huge hospital bills, a maxed-out line of credit, a big loan or a combination of other things.

A powerful solution

Bankruptcy is one of the great practical protections afforded by our legal system. It is not only constitutional; it is backed by state laws, including the laws of Tennessee, and supported by many religious and cultural traditions.

A successful bankruptcy filing stops creditors from contacting you. In some cases — like successful Chapter 7 petitions — it can discharge all of your unsecured debt and create that “clean slate” we all want sometimes.

Athletes, movie stars, pop singers, presidents and YOU

With the all the money that pro athletes, rock stars and Hollywood actors reportedly make, how do so many celebrities end up filing for bankruptcy? Each story is different, but many of them may have certain things in common with you: unfortunate circumstances, a loss of income, unexpected expenses, relationship difficulties and the like.

The legal advice you need now

By now, you surely know that bankruptcy isn’t a good idea for everybody. But it might be tremendously helpful for you. If you think you might be a good Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 candidate, talk to a knowledgeable attorney who concentrates on debt relief.