Top Five Worst Bankruptcies Ever Filed

The IRS Tapes: Who'll Buy My Memories?

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Most bloggers will use celebrities and various other famous people to illustrate that bankruptcy does not always just happen to common people who make very little income, but it can happen to anyone. This blogger offers his opinion of the top five worst bankruptcies ever filed, in descending order.

#5 Worst Bankruptcy Ever Filed

Lydia Harris claimed 50% ownership investment in Death Row Records in a lawsuit in 2006 against co-founder Suge Knight who had a history of trouble with the law. Harris was awarded $107 million by the courts for her 50% stake in Death Row. Knight then filed for bankruptcy protection in the same year, and the bankruptcy court found he had only $11 in his bank accounts. Knight continues to have financial trouble to this day as well as trouble with the law. Whatever happened to Lydia Harris? I don’t know, but my guess is she is no longer investing in record companies.

#4 Worst Bankruptcy Ever Filed

Willie Nelson filed bankruptcy in 1990 after the IRS reportedly handed Willie a bill for $16.7 million for back taxes. The IRS seized most of his assets to help pay those charges. Didn’t Willie know that most IRS back taxes are exempt from bankruptcy discharge? While it is true some back taxes are non-exempt from discharge, the automatic stay ran out of time, and Willie is still hurting from the IRS, some 22 years later.

#3 Worst Bankruptcy Ever Filed

Lawrence Taylor was one of the greatest linebackers to play for in the National Football League, and he was one of the highest paid players in the NFL for 13 seasons. Nearing the end of his career and after, Taylor lost all of his money through the use of illegal drugs, gambling and bad investments. In 1998, Taylor was arrested for failing to pay child support and had to file bankruptcy. Didn’t Taylor know child support is also exempt from bankruptcy discharge? Could investing in a drug rehabilitating program been a better investment than a bankruptcy lawyer?

#2 Worst Bankruptcy Ever Filed

Bud Post was the famous lottery winner who won a national lottery in 1988 worth $16.2 million. Bud then went on a spending spree buying almost anything in sight. Bud filed for bankruptcy protection in 1996, declaring later that winning the lottery had ruined his life. He died in 2006 with no money or possessions. Did filing bankruptcy really help?

#1 Worst Bankruptcy Ever Filed

Mike Tyson was one of the most written about boxers ever. He won the heavyweight boxing title at 20 years old, the youngest ever to do so. It is estimated he won over $300 million dollars in his professional career. Tyson’s lavish lifestyle cost him $400,000 a month during the decades of the 1980s and 1990s. Tyson filed for bankruptcy protection in 2003 listing debts of $27 million. After living such a lavish and expensive lifestyle and literally biting the ear that feeds you, Tyson gets my vote as the only famous person on this list who understood how to use bankruptcy in a timely manner. He lost my vote when I learned how he came about having to file bankruptcy. It just goes to show me that filing bankruptcy is the right of every American.

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