Personal bankruptcy can be complex for high-asset filers

When an individual files for bankruptcy protection, a number of events are put into motion. A successful personal bankruptcy process requires a comprehensive accounting of one's income, assets, and liabilities. For those in New Jersey and elsewhere who are considered to be high-asset filers, this process can become incredibly complex.

Such is the case for a former large-scale developer who has filed for personal bankruptcy amid criminal charges including mail fraud. He pleaded guilty to that federal charge, and will serve a prison sentence in the near future. His initial filing listed debts at approximately $167 million, with assets totalling only $1.4 million.

During a recent sentencing hearing, the former developer claimed that he has been successful in reducing his overall outstanding debt by over $100 million. Much of that debt was reduced by returning property to secured creditors, including his interest in a major shopping center development project. While he and his wife could eliminate much of their debt through the bankruptcy process, the developer has stated that they want to repay as much as possible without discharge.

Most New Jersey residents who are considering filing for personal bankruptcy will have a case that is far simpler than the one outlined here. However, this example is indicative of the complexity that can come with certain high-asset filings, and the ability that an individual filer has in regard to how to complete the process. For some who file, making sure that creditors are able to recover some of their losses is an important goal, even when it is possible to simply eliminate those debts through the discharge process.

Source: ArkansasBusiness.com, Steve Clary Bankruptcy Case Remains Open, Mark Friedman, Nov. 18, 2013

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