Who Else Has Declared Bankruptcy: Millionaires with the Most Bankruptcy Filings - Westgate Law

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Who Else Has Declared Bankruptcy: Millionaires with the Most Bankruptcy Filings

Are you considering filing for bankruptcy? Do you feel like you’re the only one who has had to resort to bankruptcy? Do you feel as if filing for bankruptcy means you are a financial failure? You would be wrong. To prove it, let’s consider some of the millionaires we all love to hate that have the most bankruptcies under their belts.

Millionaires with the Most:

  • Donald Trump
  • Abraham Lincoln
  • Larry King
  • Cyndi Lauper
  • MC Hammer
  • Samuel Clemens (a.k.a. Mark Twain)
  • Jack Clark (Boston Red Sox’s “The Ripper”)
  • Dorothy Hamill

Donald Trump is well known for his collection of major real estate holdings and his involvement in NBC-TV’s “The Apprentice.” Trump has been involved in four bankruptcy filings; the most recent was in 2009 when Trump Entertainment Records filed for Chapter 11. Trump Hotel & Casino Resorts filed as a result of a massive amount of past due loans. Trump Plaza filed for bankruptcy after missing payments. Trump’s Atlantic City Taj Mahal pushed him a paltry $1 million in the red, which was nothing in comparison to more recent filings.

Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States. He also filed for bankruptcy twice. His business ventures left him overburdened by debt plus loans from friends and family that took him 17 years to pay off. He definitely left a better legacy politically than he did financially. Other presidents that filed for bankruptcy include: Ulysses S. Grant and William McKinley.

Larry King, TV broadcast king and talk show host, didn’t enjoy financial success early on in his career. His lifestyle at the time was far richer than he was. He generated enormous debts and filed for bankruptcy in 1978 to get out from under it and get a fresh start. Now, King’s financial net worth is estimated at about $144 million.

Cyndi Lauper is famous for the hit, “True Colors.” It can still be heard on the radio and in elevators across the country (and probably in your local grocery store). But in 1981, Cyndi hit rock bottom and filed for bankruptcy. Shortly afterward she met her manager, David Wolff, who helped her break into stardom and become the pop icon we know today.

MC Hammer was a rap star that burst onto the scene in 1990. You probably remember some of his hits if you were around at the time. For instance, “U Can’t Touch This.” But his new fortune of $33 million was spent lavishly and in 1996 he filed for bankruptcy with over $10 million in debt. After bankruptcy, Hammer cut back on his spending and sent his massive, oversized entourage away. Now he’s the executive producer of an A&E reality TV show, “Hammertime.”

Samuel Clemens was better known by his pen name, Mark Twain. In 1894, he filed for bankruptcy after sinking a large portion of his personal fortune into a publishing firm and typesetting invention. The financial struggle is known to have shaped the writing of his successful novel, “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court” so his entire reading public has benefited from his experience.

Jack Clark was nicknamed “The Ripper” as the Boston Red Sox that was pulling down $8.7 million at the time of his bankruptcy filing in 1992. It could be speculated that his off the filed spending was what led to the problem. Clark had 18 luxury cars, bad investments and plenty of other expenditures. Today he is manager of the Springfield Sliders in the collegiate Prospect League.

Dorothy Hamill won Olympic gold at the 1976 games in ice-skating. But she didn’t experience the same levels of success financially. She lost her fortune and filed for bankruptcy in 1996. It resulted in her loss of ownership in the world famous Ice Capades. Since then, Hamill has released her second memoir, “Dorothy Hamill: A Skating Life.” She also continues to skate.

Tough financial times are commonplace in even the most extraordinary of lives. If you’re in an impossible financial situation, know that you are there in good company and consider all the amazing examples of financial recovery that you’ve just heard before you assume filing for bankruptcy leaves in a category that defines you as a financial failure. Not many would say such a thing about any of those listed above and they’re in the same category!

If you need information about how filing for bankruptcy can alleviate your financial burdens, contact the southern California bankruptcy experts at Westgate Law.

About the Author

Justin Harelik

Justin has a singular goal: to get people out of financial distress and move them to financial stability and prosperity. He does this by combining 15 years of in-depth experience in bankruptcy, credit management, debt negotiation and student loan modifications, and he does it with both English and Spanish-speaking clients.

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