For years, Donald Trump has been the epitome of wealth and affluence. To most, it seems as though everything he touches turns to gold. But did you know that his companies have filed for bankruptcy at least four times in the past? This isn’t including the recent announcement that his Trump Entertainment Resorts is once again seeking bankruptcy protection. Specifically, his Atlantic City casino Trump Plaza is the one on the block for bankruptcy protection, though he also said his Trump Taj Mahal may be next. So how does such a wealthy man own what will likely be six bankruptcies by the end of the year? How are these business decisions justified? Better still, what does it mean for the consumer who sees the possibility of more than one bankruptcy in their lives?
The fact is, Donald Trump has never filed for personal bankruptcy; instead, it’s his companies that have filed for bankruptcy protection. The growing number of Atlantic City casinos that are going bust serves as the backdrop of this latest revelation. The legal documents filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware recently revealed liabilities of more than $100 million. Perhaps what’s most important is the fact that this same company filed for bankruptcy in 2009 as well. Trump now owns 10 percent of the firm, though it’s not under his daily control.
This may have some people wondering if they too are ever eligible for multiple bankruptcy filings.
More than One Bankruptcy
Here’s a quick fact you may not know: In 2013, there were more than 1 million consumer bankruptcies filed in the U.S….Most were chapter 7 cases.
First things first – when looking at the dates and the timeframes between bankruptcy filings, it’s the date the case was filed, not the date of the discharge that controls. If you’ve filed for a chapter 7 bankruptcy, you’re not eligible to for another Chapter 7 discharge until eight years after the first case was filed. If you filed a Chapter 13 and received a discharge, you can file a subsequent Chapter 7 six years after the Chapter 13 was filed.
If your first bankruptcy filing was dismissed, not discharged, these time periods do not apply. The time periods only apply to cases that were discharged, not dismissed.
Now, there’s an important caveat: If you file for chapter 13 bankruptcy and you realize it’s not the solution you thought it would be, you can convert it at any time to a chapter 7 filing. In fact, many people do that. Remember, though, you won’t be able to file for another bankruptcy – chapter 7 or chapter 13 – for eight years from the time the Chapter 13 was filed since you converted the original filing to a chapter 7.
Repeat filings are really not that unusual. If you have filed a bankruptcy case and think you might need another case, please contact us for a free initial consultation so that we can explore all of your options with you.
While we may never know the wealth Donald Trump enjoys, you do have choices when it comes to your finances and the protections that are available. Even if you have filed for chapter 13 bankruptcy and realize it’s not at all what you’d hoped it would be, chapter 7 bankruptcy could very well be the right solution. More than one bankruptcy is possible, provided certain rules are followed.
To learn more, contact my offices today. We’ll work hard to ensure bankruptcy serves your needs and allows you and your family to start anew, minus the burden of overwhelming bills.