All Articles Tagged "bankruptcy"
Poor Dionne Warwick! The iconic singer had to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy late last week because of tax liens that go back 20 years. According to her attorney Daniel Stolz, who spoke with Rolling Stone, Warwick actually has been paying taxes, but fell victim to a bad business manager and the penalties and fees that come along with mismanagement.
Warwick’s tax problems began sometime around 1998 and by 2009, it was being reported that she owed $2.2 million. The IRS corrected the record to $1 million. Despite her continued payments, it wasn’t enough to pay for the fees that were accruing. This bankruptcy filing is an attempt to clear off the debt once and for all.
Rolling Stone says that her income has fallen and, according to the bankruptcy petition, when you take her expenses into account, Warwick is making $10 per month. An internationally-known singer with decades of celebrity and hit songs under her belt is making a net income of $10 per month at the age of 72. The magazine says this is “a figure that is not unusual for a celebrity after living costs and mortgages are factored in.”
Over the past few years The Pink Tea Cup has had some location issues, which have now transformed into financial issues. The Manhattan restaurant whose menu includes fish and grits, fried catfish, and chicken and waffles, has filed for bankruptcy. The popular hot spot has moved several times and when its final location did not have a liquor license for over six months, it put a dent into their financial performance.
The restaurant’s attorney David Bondi stated, “They got deep into debt because they were unable to serve alcohol.” And now according to Crain’s the eatery is filing for bankruptcy.
According to the filing, The Pink Tea Cup has between $50,000 and $100,000 in assets and between $100,000 and $500,000 in liabilities. And with only about $80,000 of that owed to the landlord, it’s looking like management was borrowing just to cover operational expenses.
A bankruptcy filing doesn’t mean the doors are shutting for good. The Pink Tea Cup has recently gotten a liquor license and has been doing much better financially ever since. Hopefully with its celebrity visits and pretty good reviews on Yelp this little New York gem will make a full recovery.
Many celebrities have filed for bankruptcy over the years, proving that even with fame, fortune is not a guarantee – a sentiment that these fifteen celebrities can certainly attest to. Their distressing financial circumstances have converted into bankruptcies, illustrating the importance of good money management at any tax bracket.
At his richest, Mike Tyson was worth between $300 and $400 million – an almost unfathomable amount of money to blow. Still, the former heavyweight champ managed to squander his riches on expensive un-necessities mansions, cars, jewelry, parties, clothing, motorcycles and Bengal tigers. According to his 2003 bankruptcy filing, Tyson owed incredibly large sums of money to a number of creditors; including the IRS, Georgia treasury, and even the British tax authorities. He now lives a comfortable life: not a very wealthy one, but a happy one, he says, with his wife and family.
Antoine Walker And Sheree Whitfield Answer The Question We All Want To Know: How The Hell Do Pro Ballers Go Broke?!
In a recent interview with “Real Housewives of Atlanta” star Sheree Whitfield and retired professional basketball players John Salley and Antoine Walker, TJ Holmes asked questions that many of us regular folk would love to know the answer to: How is that professional athletes with million dollar contracts find themselves in financial ruin after they depart from the league? Why were these three specifically chosen to speak on the poor money management of pro athletes, you ask? Well, Antoine Walker who is the ex of Basketball Wive’s Evelyn Lozada is popular for running through $110 million dollars like it was water. If you’ve ever watched “Real Housewives of Atlanta” back in it’s “Sheree days”, you’ve probably heard her discuss what poor financial shape her ex-husband former NFL player Bob Whitfield is in. And by TJ’s tone, it seems that John Salley may have also face financial hardship at one point or another. Here’s some of what they had to say:
Antoine Walker on how he went broke:
“Well, that’s easy on the outside. The realization of it is when you come in the league at 19 years old; it’s really hard to understand what a million dollars is. I didn’t know what a million dollars was and what wasn’t a million dollars. I didn’t know that was $600,000. Thinking about taxes, thinking about things you don’t think about before you are in the league. I’m an inner city kid. I come from a very struggle background. I’m the oldest of six. I have two kids of my own. So now obviously you start providing for them. You put yourself in a lifestyle that you like and create. I lived a very expensive lifestyle.”
Antoine Walker on how much he spent on Evelyn:
“She lived a very good lifestyle. I was with Evelyn for 10 years.[...] Some millions. When you are with someone you are giving them cash. They aren’t taking taxes out of that. That’s a big difference. But she was with me, we were together. Obviously, I was taking care of her and her daughter.”
Sheree on the role she played in her husband’s financial turmoil:
“I didn’t find out that he wasn’t doing so well [financially] while we were married until after we were going through the divorce. When I met Bob I was an accounts payable supervisor. When we got married I offered to help pay the bills around the house. I had no knowledge of what was coming in or going out.”
“I should’ve probably been more involved, but I wasn’t. He wanted to control his finances. He made the money. I didn’t have a problem with that. I trusted my husband. And I did was I was a loving wife. I stayed home and made sure the house was taken care of and the kids were taken care of. I did not have any say so in the finances.”
Sheree on whether or not she and Bob’s split was because he went broke:
“Absolutely not. It had nothing to do with money… It was a slew of other things.”
Antoine on women being that contributing factor in the financial ruin of professional athletes:
“You set the lifestyle for the woman. You pretty much let them know what they can get away with and what they can’t get away with. With the things you buy them you kind of set the precedent for what things are gonna be. Usually the man feels like if this is my arm piece, the woman I’m going to be with, the one I’m going to show off, they’re usually going to make sure that she looks nice, she wears the best things and she has the best things on.”
In typical John Salley fashion, he of course interjected and called Antoine’s explanation “tricking”. He also urged all new players in the league to seek financial advisers before they do anything else. It’s great to see that such a common issue in the Black community is being addressed and hopefully players will take heed to the advice being offered.
Check out the interview on the next page. Who do you believe is responsible when professional athletes go broke?
Toni Finally Takes Some Responsibility For Going Broke: ‘I Kind Of Lost It A Little Bit On The House Ware.’
Toni, Toni, Toni. If the R&B singer thought Oprah was harsh on her back in 1998 when she questioned her about having Gucci flatware, I’m curious how she feels about the outcome of her recent 20/20 interview in which she was basically asked to rehash every money woe she’s ever had in her life. Everybody knows Toni has been on the financial struggle bus since the ’90s, having filed for bankruptcy twice since making it big. Though she already recently revealed the source behind those filings on her VH1 Behind the Music special — shady business deals and sickness– Toni has pretty much neglected to take any personal responsibility for her mishandling of funds. But in her 20/20 chat, she sort of did just that.
When asked how it was possible for someone who sold 50 million albums to go flat broke, she said:
“I love dishes and house things so I kind of lost it a little bit on the house ware. That kind of stuff, the girly things that’s what I indulged in – 1,000-thread-count sheets.”
Unfortunately for her, all of that stopped when out of $170 million in album sales she took home less than $2,000 — $1,972 to be exact. Most people are more concerned with how that happened, as opposed to her having to file for bankruptcy, and Toni explained:
“What happens is they will give you an advance million on the next record and the next record so you kind of stay in debt in a sense.”
It’s not hard for people to wrap their heads around the shadiness of the record industry, but what most do have trouble understanding is how the singer ended up in debt to the tune of $50 million a second time. A lot of fans know that the singer being diagnosed with lupus and a heart condition caused her to cancel her Vegas shows, and that she was subsequently sued by all of the vendors for the cash they missed out on. But when the reporter brought up $15,000 debts to Tiffanys in the last filings, I’m sure some wondered whether Toni actually learned her lesson the first time around. All she had to say was:
“Some of the things you read aren’t true because I heard I owed BMW too and I don’t own a BMW.”
She does own a rather extravagant LA home, though. The type that makes you wonder, is this the fruits of no labor? But the truth is Toni has now gotten into the private global concert sector and claims the “money is yummy” but now she keeps her checks properly balanced.
“I have to monitor myself, she said, “because I am definitely on a budget.”
Let’s hope so.
Check out Toni’s #20/20Confessions special on the next page. Do you think her financial situation is really in order now?
Former CSI actor Gary Dourdan has found himself among the laundry list of Hollywood celebrities with money woes. TMZ is reporting that the green-eyed actor with a turbulent past filed for Chapter 11 on August 30th this year. The paper’s filed reveal that the Hollywood bad boy has slightly over $1.8 million in assets; however, is 1.73 million dollars in debt. CBS42 reports that he decided to file in an effort to prevent Wells Fargo from putting his Venice, CA, home up for auction.
A large percentage of that debt, 1.689,705 million, to be exact, is owed to several banks. Of those banks, one actually holds the mortgage for his home, which could be in danger of being in default. Now, this is probably something we’re all used to hearing about since there always seems to be one celeb or another making headlines for not properly handling their funds, but what leaves many scratching their heads and raising their eyebrows in amazement is the rundown of his assets, which TMZ briefly lists.
$200 cash, $3k in a bank account, $4k in furniture, $200 worth of books, $1,500 in clothes, $500 in watches … oh and a 2006 Dodge Charger worth $7,000.
Wait, it gets more interesting.
Gary says his disposable income is only $321 a month … claiming his bills ($14,562 a month) eat up just about all of the $14,883 he pulls in on average.
Now, I’m not a mathematician, but most would simply cut back on their expenses when found in a situation such as this one. The whereabouts of his accountant should be the real question that people are asking. Despite the unfortunate circumstances, the 45-year-old actor remains optimistic. He shared with TMZ that he is anticipating some pretty huge acting gigs will be coming his way in the near future, which will assist him in resolving his debt issues, but many doubt this since he has yet to land any major roles since departing from CSI in 2008. We hope he’s right and maybe next time he will do a better job of managing his money.
The latest financial controversy for Toni Braxton are accusations of bankruptcy fraud, alleging that she gave her estranged husband more than $50,000 to avoid paying creditors. (She’s also trending this morning on Twitter for her Behind the Music episode. Did you see it? We have to check that out.)
This could actually happen to anyone if they don’t know the rules or they try to do a runaround the laws. If you are filing, check the bankruptcy laws in your state. But first, assess whether or not it is time for you to declare bankruptcy. According to bankruptcy lawyer Bruce Weiner of Brooklyn-based Rosenberg, Musso & Weiner, LLP , bankruptcy is an option when “the amount of credit card debt is approaching annual income; you have had a drop or loss of income and are thinking of tapping into IRA or 401(k) to pay credit cards; or you stop answering phone because of collection calls.”
New York-based attorney Daniel Gershburg, agrees, adding that “one of the first signs that bankruptcy may be necessary is that you don’t have enough money to pay your credit card minimums. And once you begin to consistently transfer balances from one card to pay for the other, it’s time to file.”
Here’s how to file:
- Go to a counselor: Attend a credit counseling course. “The course takes approximately 90 minutes and you learn about credit and budgeting,” says Gershburg.
- Do the paperwork: “Fill out petition and schedules, preferably with an attorney who understands exemptions (what you can keep when filing), all the income tests and rules, and will ask the right questions about transfers or payments to relatives. [He/she] also will understand which debts will be discharged,” says Weiner.
- Be organized: “File petitions, schedules, counseling certificates, and 60 days of pay stubs with court,” Weiner tells Madame Noire.
- Follow up: “After trustee assigned to case, mail all papers to trustee together with last tax return,” Weiner explains.
- Take a 341 Meeting a.k.a. the Meeting of the Creditors: About three weeks after you file for bankruptcy, you should meet with a trustee to go over the bankruptcy estate and other financial data, including the amount you’ve kept in your checking account, inheritances and other info, Gershburg explained to us.
- Class in session: You will be required to go to another credit counseling class to get your discharge papers, which will be sent about 60 days after, Gershberg said. Keep your bankruptcy lawyer on hand.
If Braxton did transfer some of her money into her husband’s bank account, it’s something that could have been remedied by a bankruptcy trustee, Weiner points out. Federal bankruptcy law gives you two years to undo this action, and most states will give you six years.
“What this means is that if you transfer an asset to anyone for less than fair consideration at a time when you are in debt, the trustee will sue the transferee to avoid the transfer and bring the asset into the bankruptcy so he or she can sell it,” he says. “Another thing that gets people in trouble is repayment of loans to relatives within one year of filing. A trustee can recover that money as a preferential payment.”
If in doubt, check with an attorney. “Your relatives are no different, under bankruptcy laws, than Visa or American Express,” says Gershburg. ”Giving your relatives assets prior to bankruptcy means that the other creditors can’t get their own debts paid. It can either be classified as preferential payments and/or a fraudulent transfer. While, to you, paying your mother maybe more important than paying Discover, doing so can risk your entire bankruptcy case.”
He recommends that you always speak with an attorney before giving mom what you owe her.
I’m going to go out on limb here and say Toni Braxton’s money hasn’t been right since before she got into the industry. You would think after two bankruptcies, the singer’s bank accounts would start to look better but now that she’s been accused of fraud and her semi-estranged husband Keri Lewis is being dragged into the drama, things are looking a lot worse.
According to TMZ:
Toni Braxton fraudulently transferred $53,490 to her estranged husband in order to avoid paying back creditors in her bankruptcy case — so says the trustee of Toni’s bankruptcy estate.
According to new docs filed in Toni’s ongoing bankruptcy case, Toni’s estranged husband Keri Lewis received the 5-figure sum after Toni’s money was already earmarked to repay creditors.
Now, the bankruptcy trustee is suing Lewis to get the money back — much like John Mayer was sued for $465,000 following a giant Ponzi scheme collapse in Seattle.
When Toni filed for bankruptcy the last time in 2010, she claimed she had between $10 million and $50 million worth of debt stemming from the cancellation of her Vegas shoes due to her health issues. The $50K she allegedly transferred to Keri wouldn’t have even put a dent in that debt but the law is the law. According to Toni’s rep, she followed it though, saying in a statement:
“All of the payments made to Lewis prior to Toni’s bankruptcy filing were appropriate transfers for reasonable and necessary personal and business expenses in the ordinary course of her business.”
Interestingly, on tonight’s VH1 “Behind The Music” special with Toni, she talks about her first bankruptcy in 1998 and the infamous interview with Oprah Winfrey in which the daytime talk show host lightweight went in on her for her financial choices. I believe this was also when Oprah said she signs every last one of her checks. Anyway, Toni didn’t appreciate the “lesson,” telling VH1:
“She was so frickin’ mean to me, I was in shock. I couldn’t believe it because I loved her so much. I looked up to her and she pretty much reprimanded me.
“She says to me, ‘I hear you have Gucci flatware; I’m Oprah Winfrey and I don’t have Gucci flatware’…You didn’t have Gucci flatware because you didn’t wanna buy it; it’s not because you couldn’t afford it. What do you mean? Immediately she made me feel this big. That moment changed my career. It made people look down on me.”
I guess we won’t see her on “Oprah’s Next Chapter.” Check out the sneak peek here.
What do you think bout Toni’s money problems?
Despite the reality TV overload we’re dealing with I’m actually pretty happy about this news, especially if it means T-Boz will now be able to get her finances in order.
TMZ is reporting that TLC group member Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins will be getting her own reality show, ironically on TLC (The Learning Channel), called “Totally T-Boz.”
Sources close to the production tell TMZ … the network has ordered four episodes of Watkins’ reality show called “Totally T-Boz” which will air on TLC in 2013…
We’re told the show will focus on the 42-year-old single mom as she tries to re-launch her music career … after recovering from the life-threatening brain tumor she was diagnosed with in 2006.
The brain tumor was so bad, once it was removed, T-Boz had to relearn how to walk and talk.
We’re told, the show will star her daughter, brother, cousins and friends … and is currently filming in Atlanta.
In addition to the brain tumor T-Boz suffered through in 2006, she has also been dealing with sickle cell anemia for most of her life, going public with her illness in 1996. Financial troubles have also taxed T-Boz heavily in the last couple of years with the singer filing for Bankruptcy in 2011. In August she also sold her home, which was threatened with foreclosure in 2008, but for only half the value. This short reality series coupled with the TLC biopic VH1 has in the works could really help T-Boz get back on her feet in more ways than one.
What do you think?
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More than two decades after Virginia Gov. L. Douglas Wilder proposed a national slavery museum, it looks to be just as much of a distant dream as it was back then.
Gov. Wilder was the nation’s first black governor. According to The Washington Post, when he took office, he proclaimed that he would make this museum a reality. A decade ago, a real estate company donated more than three dozen acres of land in Fredericksburg, VA for the project. Fundraising was supposed to be underway, the ball rolling.
Last September, the project filed for bankruptcy, not a brick has been laid and the city tried to take the land because no taxes had been paid on it. About $300,000 is owed, not to mention the $5 million owed to an architecture firm. Now that a promise to pay the taxes has gone unfulfilled, the city is trying to sell the land. And Celebrate Virginia South, an organization that wanted to use the museum as the centerpiece of its efforts to draw tourism to the area, laments the opportunities that it allowed to slip away while waiting for this museum to be built.
Based on the information provided by the Post, the project is now in turmoil and seems unlikely to come to pass. “We don’t understand what Governor Wilder is doing,” the president of Silver Cos, Jud Honaker, told the newspaper. Silver Cos has been involved in the project. “He hasn’t shown any effort to make this thing a reality since he announced it, practically. I don’t know why he keeps perpetuating this disaster of a story.”
In Minneapolis, another museum, the Minnesota African American Museum, was supposed to open on Saturday. That didn’t happen. The city has promised the museum a $1 million grant, which would go towards construction costs, but they’ve asked that they be listed atop the museum’s bank mortgage so it can recover some of its money should the museum fail. The museum’s founder, Roxanne Givens, told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune via text message that it is “negotiating” with the bank. This is the third time the museum didn’t open on the appointed date.
Both of these institutions certainly don’t lack for enthusiastic support. Rather, it’s the people in charge that seem to be incapable of getting financial matters in order to bring these projects to eager audiences. Above all else, this is a real shame.