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The Latest High Profile Figure to Seek Protection in Bankruptcy

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The word on the street in Washington is that Paul Wilson just filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy because of heavy debts he has accumulated in connection with his ownership of the Washington Glory professional softball team.

This certainly isn't the first time a high-profile figure has taken cover under the protection of the bankruptcy laws -“ and you can bet it won't be the last. The list of famous politicians, actors, recording artists, professional athletes, and other celebrities who have filed bankruptcy is legion. And, it shows that even the brightest, most talented, and most privileged people can and do fall prey to the crippling effects of unmanageable debts.

Good old Honest Abe, the 16th President of the United States, tops the list of politicians who've filed bankruptcy to stop their finances from spiraling out of control. Following him is Ulysses S. Grant, the 18th President, and then William McKinley, the 25th. The highest-ranking members of our nation's judiciary branch are also not immune to such ails: James Wilson, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court from 1789-1798, filed bankruptcy too.

The list of famous actors who've filed bankruptcy seems to go on without end. Some of the highlights include Kim Bassinger, Debbie Reynolds, Gary Coleman, Burt Reynolds, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Sherman Helmsley ("Mr. Jefferson- from the Jeffersons), Lorenzo Lamas, and Randy Quaid.

Recording artists are notorious for finding themselves in bankruptcy. There's Toni Braxton, MC Hammer, Marvin Gaye, Cindy Lauper, LaToya Jackson, Willie Nelson, Meatloaf, Natalie Cole, Merle Haggard, and Jerry Lee Lewis -“ to name a few.

Professional athletes have also seen their share of bankruptcies: Mike Tyson, Bjorn Borg, Tony Gwynn, Dorothy Hamill, Joe Louis, Lawrence Taylor, and Johnny Unitas have all wound up in this boat.

And, the list of the other rich and famous folks goes on and on: Donald Trump; Larry King; P.T Barnum (owner of the Barnum & Bailey Circus); John Wayne Bobbitt; Samuel L. Clemens (Mark Twain); Francis Ford Coppola; Walt Disney; Henry Ford; H.J. Heinz (Heinz Ketchup); Milton Hershey (Hershey chocolate founder); Jackie Mason; Wayne Newton; Rembrandt (the painter); Mickey Rooney; and Anna Nicole Smith.

The point is, if you find yourself in drowning debt, you shouldn't feel bad. Financial strife and turmoil does not discriminate; it can hit anyone, from any walk of life. In fact, many of the people listed above could have avoided this fate and ended up in trouble because they were trying to live way beyond their already extraordinary means. But, chances are, you're like most everyone else who lands in this boat: some difficult circumstance beyond your control is at work in your life -“ divorce, death, disability, job loss, an "upside-down- mortgage, etc.

Bankruptcy can and does help the rich and famous -“ even when they've dug a hole for themselves. But these laws were really designed to help people like you -“average Americans caught up in financial turmoil through no fault of their own. So, call a bankruptcy attorney today and learn how you can get out of financial trouble and get your life back on track.

If you're in North Carolina, contact The Law Offices of John T. Orcutt, with convenient office locations in Raleigh, Durham, Fayetteville, and Wilson.

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