4 Big Lessons from Notorious Celebrity Bankruptcies – John T. Orcutt – High Income Filings and Qualified Local North Carolina Attorneys Skip to main content

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4 Big Lessons from Notorious Celebrity Bankruptcies


Celebrity bankruptcy
Image source: totalbankruptcy.com

If you’re facing serious financial difficulties, you may be considering filing for bankruptcy to get some relief and make a fresh start. What is surprising to many are the celebrities who often end up filing for bankruptcy. It’s shocking, really, considering that so many of them were making millions of dollars. How could they end up needing to file for bankruptcy?

Every case is different, of course, but we’re all just human beings. Sometimes we make mistakes, or a series of bad decisions. Other times we are the victims of circumstances beyond our control, which could range from the death of a spouse to natural disasters to medical problems to divorce. Here are some lessons to take to heart from some of the more notorious celebrity bankruptcies:

The One-Hit Wonders. The problem with a little success (or a lot) is that it makes you think more of it is just around the corner. If you live that way and the success doesn’t continue, suddenly you’re in big trouble. That’s the situation with Nadya Suleman, better know as Octomom – the woman who gave birth to Octuplets. She had a very successful reality show that made it look like she was on a clear path to greater success, but it didn’t materialize.

As her popularity faded, the debts came into high relief, to the tune of somewhere between $500,000 to a $1 million. She filed for bankruptcy in 2012. The lesson to learn here: Think about how much you’re spending through the lens of different future income scenarios. Don’t assume that a situation, no matter how good, is going to stay static.

Millionaire celebrity bankruptcy
Image source: totalbankruptcy.com

The High-Rollers. Have you head the phrase that your “needs” seem to rise to meet your income? Real problems start coming when those “needs” extend well beyond your income. Take Allen Iverson for example. His NBA career made him $154 million, and his sponsorship deals even more, but he declared bankruptcy in 2012.

Iverson and other celebrities, whether athletes or not, often grow accustomed to leading truly extravagant lifestyles that wind up costing more than they can handle. The lesson to learn here: Live within your means, whether large or small!

Breaking Bad Habits. Many celebrities who declare bankruptcy have problems that go beyond the seeming inability to live within their substantial means. Iverson had a gambling addiction. Former Chicago Bulls star, Dennis Rodman, who also recently declared bankruptcy, struggles with a major alcohol addiction.

Whatever your financial woes, having other serious problems with drugs, alcohol, gambling and other things are only going to make matters worse. Get help for your serious problems before they completely derail your life!  Cleaning up your financial life can be part of an overall initiative to completely rebuild the life you want.

Paying Uncle Sam. Not paying your taxes will inevitably catch up with you, and it’s surprising how many celebrities who declare bankruptcy owe substantial sums to the IRS. The most recent of those is Gary Busey, star of Celebrity Apprentice. Even after his bankruptcy he’ll still have to pay $450,000 to the IRS. He joins the ranks of other celebrities like Willie Nelson and Wesley Snipes, whose bankruptcies also involved lots of back taxes. The lesson to learn here: Make paying your taxes a priority!

High profile bankruptcies
Image source: totalbankruptcy.com

It is always shocking to find out that famous people who have made so much money sometimes end up filing for bankruptcy. Anyone can struggle with the situations that lead to financial difficulties. If you’re facing a complicated financial situation and need help, contact a qualified local bankruptcy attorney today.

Dedicated to helping residents of North Carolina find the best solutions to their debt problems. Don’t waste another day worrying about your debt. Call +1-919-646-2654 today to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your bankruptcy options.

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