This may be my last Fitty blog post. You see, rapper Curtis Jackson – known as 50 Cent – has exited bankruptcy with his death discharged. Thus ends a long strange trip that began with Curtis Jackson on the losing end of a lawsuit that he lost to Lastonia Leviston after being found liable for damages of $7 million in a sex tape case. Ms. Leviston has agreed to drop her $7 million dollar award for a lump sum payment of $6 million – with the caveat that the sum must be in 30 days or the original sum will be reinstated. All told, the settlement will pay out $23 million dollars on nearly $30 million owed to creditors from around $8 million on hand and a nearly $14 million settlement in a legal malpractice case.
Well, apparently, part of his income plan is to sue everybody. The case was filled with drama and a man trying to find reasonable explanations for posing next to piles of cash while claiming protection of bankruptcy from his creditors. Now it comes full circle as 50 file suit against his former attorneys for mishandling the sex take case. He charges that Reed Smith and Raymond did not provide him with effective representation in that legal battle. That’s not to say that there hasn’t been an extravagant lifestyle that pumps up the rapper’s reputationas a high roller and high flyer with exotic cars, piles of cash, jewelry, and even real estate.
Of course, most bankruptcies are not as dramatic as 50’s. You don’t need to be on the losing end of a multimillion dollar lawsuit in order to be in over your head. In order to file for a reorganization bankruptcy such as a Chapter 11 or Chapter 13, you simply need to be unable to keep up with your monthly expenses and servicing your existing debt. In fact, people generally delay filing for bankruptcy when they shouldn’t. Going into reorganization simply means that your finances will be reorganized, your creditors paid off (though generally for less than the original amount), and your bankruptcy will be discharged. Once you have discharged your bankruptcy, you are starting over with a clean slate.
Even filing for a so-called “simple” Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a complex legal procedure. A number of people have not had good results from filing as pro se, or with the help of a bankruptcy preparer or paralegal. An attorney is the only one allowed to dispense legal advice. This is the law. Bankruptcy is a specialty practice simply because of the complexity of filing for bankruptcy, shepherding it through the process, and emerging with the client on the other side. If you feel that you are approaching the needed to file for bankruptcy, call our Fort Lauderdale or West Palm Beach office for a free initial consultation. We are open seven days a week and will do our honest best for you.
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