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Jul 2010

After bankruptcy: Is Donald Trump Embarrassed?

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Donald Trump isn't embarrassed and he's worth $2.7 billion.

Donald Trump isn’t embarrassed and he’s worth $2.7 billion.

Donald Trump’s casinos, Trump Entertainment Resorts, emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Friday, July 16 2010.    This followed two previous bankruptcies by the Trump casinos.  First in 1991 and again in 2004 – 2005. (Trump’s other big business failure was  Trump Airlines , which never made a profit.)

This newest bankruptcy eliminated $1.3 billion in debt.

The Reuters news article reporting all this, called Trump a “celebrity developer.”

Apparently Donald Trump can stay a celebrity developer while wiping out over a billion dollars in the bankruptcy court.  (All 12,000 bankruptcies I’ve handled, eliminated about half that, total.)

So far, Trump has avoided personal bankruptcy.  He makes better use of corporations than most people.    Also, he’s benefited because the hundreds of millions in business bankruptcy losses are enormous!

The massive size of the debts encouraged the creditors to  “restructure his debt to avoid the risk of losing more money in court.” I pass this on, because I talk to dozens of people every month who are mortified at having to file bankruptcy.

People can feel like their lives are over.  People say, “I wasn’t raised this way.”  (As if the way people are raised can pay the credit cards when you lose your job.  Or get sick.)

Last I checked, Donald Trump still has his TV show.  And, while other stockholders were wiped out. Trump is still 10% owner of the casinos.

Donald Trump filed bankruptcy on ten thousand times more debt than my highest dollar clients.  I doubt he’s ten thousand times as embarrassed.

PS  Here’s a link to a short article about Donald Trump bankruptcies from Forbes.

PPS.  Here’s an article from the Washington Post that explains his first big bankruptcy, the Taj Mahal Casino, in detail.  Trump points out that while a lot of banks, suppliers, and employees got hurt, Trump himself got out ok.  I’ve also downloaded it from the Post, Trump’s bad bet here.  

Trump said,  “It’s not personal. This was just business,” he said. “I got out great.”

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Jun 2010

Bankruptcy and Will Rogers "Never Met a Man I Didn't Like"

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Eighty years ago today, June 16, 1930, Will Rogers‘ most famous quote first appeared in print.  “I never met a man I didn’t like.”

Probably, he’d said it before, because the Boston Globe had Rogers saying he’d be proud to have that on his tombstone.  “I can hardly wait to die so it can be carved,” he added.

I was reminded about that last Friday by one of the people who came to see me about bankruptcy.  Fellow said that he had been really frightened about coming to see me.  He had seen one lawyer about bankruptcy before “and I could feel right away he didn’t want me as a client.”

He knew we were different when he met with my paralegal, Vicky.  And he really appreciated the time I took with him to understand his problem.

I’m a Virginia bankruptcy lawyer.  I’m glad to be able to help people who have been knocked down by life.  And who are doing their best to get back up.  That’s all I do.

The chance to get a second chance is one of the great things about America.  And I’m proud to use bankruptcy law to help people get the second chance they deserve.  They are good people.

Lots of people who need to file for bankruptcy feel bad, but you shouldn’t feel bad around your bankruptcy lawyer. You don’t need to feel bad around me.

I don’t want it on my tombstone;  but I’ll put that same thing on my website.  I hope to be able to say, like Will Rogers, “I never met a man or woman I didn’t like.”

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Jun 2010

After bankruptcy: depression and getting back on your feet

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As a bankruptcy lawyer,  I see a lot of people who have been knocked down by life.  Filing bankruptcy can get you back on your feet financially, but other problems might still hold you down.

One of those problems can be depression.

When life knocks you down, there can be changes in the chemistry of your brain. When things get better–when filing for bankruptcy stops the financial pressure–the brain is still damaged.

I’m a lawyer.  My law degree is from the University of Maryland.  It’s called a Juris doctor.   That Latin means I’m a “doctor of justice.”  I’m a bankruptcy lawyer, not a medical doctor.  I’m not a good place to go for medical advice.

But I think its my job to speak up when I think people need to go for medical advice.    If you have medical insurance, my advice is simple.  Go talk to your doctor.

If you don’t have insurance, that’s tougher.  The prescription anti-depressant medications can be very expensive, without insurance.   What can you do?

I’m told that the county mental health clinics clinics can help you get low cost of free medications if you don’t have insurance.  The website for Prince William county is here:  http://www.pwcgov.org/default.aspx?topic=010009000890000647

There is also an herbal remedy.  Studies, especially in Germany, show that St. John’s Wort works as well as many of the expensive prescription anti-depressants.  And with fewer side effects.  (Studies in other countries have not been as positive, so the popularity of St. John’s has dropped in recent years.)

The advantage is that you can buy it in the vitamin section of any of the pharmacies or grocery stores around here.  It’s about $20.00 for a months supply.

I know a number of people who say they have been really helped by it.   This includes bankruptcy clients, and members of my family.

OK, that’s it.  Talk to your doctor.  I’m a bankruptcy lawyer.

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