Well-paid, prominent lawyer files for individual bankruptcy

In De Soto, filing for bankruptcy when facing financial challenges is an option that is always available. While personal bankruptcy may be considered a desperate move, it is actually a strategy that many people use to eliminate debt and place themselves on better financial footing for the future.

Even those who have prominent jobs in which they are expected to make a lot of money sometimes have no choice but to file for individual bankruptcy. A 55-year-old attorney, who was a partner at a major law firm and then became a partner at an even more well-known global law firm, filed for individual bankruptcy because of significant debts and few assets. His filing states that he has $800 total in his checking and savings accounts. One of his former law firms, with which he had an equity partnership, had filed for bankruptcy two years ago. A substantial settlement with his former wife for alimony and child support, along with the work issues, left him short on funds for himself. His ex-wife is supposed to receive over $10,500 per month. At his various jobs for law firms at his peak earnings, the man made over $500,000 per year. At his new job, he makes over $350,000 per year, but given all his outstanding bills he was forced into filing for bankruptcy to eliminate debt.

In today's economy, with the issues that people are facing, it's quite common that financial challenges lead to filings of individual bankruptcy. Bankruptcy protection helps people try to avoid foreclosure, and can allow them to keep their cars and other personal belongings. It can help prevent wage garnishment and allow them to get their financial house back in order. Regardless of the reasons for financial distress, there are ways to eliminate debt and get back in good financial standing through individual bankruptcy.

In the situation faced by the attorney who filed for bankruptcy, his career trajectory put forth the impression of someone who'd reached the height of success. However, his employers having financial issues of their own, as well as a divorce that left him financially depleted, forced him to seek an alternative way of eliminating debt. Individuals and families in similar circumstances may want to consider the benefits of filing for bankruptcy.

Source: NYTimes.com, "A Lawyer and Partner, and Also Bankrupt," James B. Stewart, Jan. 24, 2014

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