Olympic gold medalist tackles debt with bankruptcy filing

Rulon Gardner, an Olympic gold medalist in wrestling, responded to his creditors' actions this summer by filing for bankruptcy. Although the Olympian's personal bankruptcy may be a small setback in his private life, it is a story from which people in Mississippi struggling with financial challenges can learn.

Gardner is an accomplished wrestler, who gained fame after his performance at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Following his athletic rise to fame, Gardner decided to pursue several business ventures. Some of his business decisions, unfortunately, have landed him in to some financial challenges. In particular, one creditor alleges that Gardner owes nearly $3 million.

The Olympian disputes this debt. He argues that a business associate defrauded him. Although Gardner denies the debt, the creditor nevertheless seeks to collect upon it. Apparently, the creditor scheduled an auction to sell off Gardner's personal property to cover his debts. Supposedly to stop the auction, Gardner filed for bankruptcy.

Like Gardner, Mississippians facing financial challenges and seeking to eliminate debt can file for bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is a legal device that individuals in financial straits can use to eliminate debt. Bankruptcy offers many benefits. People can use bankruptcy to stop harassing creditor tactics like auctions and to negotiate with creditors to establish manageable payment plans. It can ensure that cherished property is not lost to an aggressive creditor collecting on a disputed debt.

The Olympian's story teaches Mississippians that although it may seem difficult to ward off creditors, filing for bankruptcy is quite possibly their best legal option.

Source: SunHerald.com, Olympic medalist's latest setback is bankruptcy, Paul Foy, Sept. 18, 2012

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