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10 Bankrupt Billionaires


When you are starting a business, being broke is a bad thing. Having to declare yourself bankrupt is far worse and may seem like it's the end of the road. But these days, bankruptcy doesn't have to mean it''s time to pack up shop and give up, there are plenty of people who have managed to recover from a filing for bankruptcy and go on to be successful. Even the richest of people have problems with their cash flow and find themselves in a whole pile of debt. Don't believe me? Here are 10 famous millionaires that have filed for bankruptcy.


For someone who was given the title of "the wealthiest divorcee in history" you'd think bankruptcy was a word Heiress Patricia Kluge would never have to utter. But unfortunately for her, after years of being one of America's richest and most extravagant socialites, the bailiffs came knocking. Kludge is working hard to get back on her feet and apparently she is now employed in the winery she built and once owned but has since sold on to Donald Trump.

Speaking of Trump, this guy has spent more time in and out of the bankruptcy courts and should have some sort of membership card. Trumps fourth and most recent appearance was back in 2009 when Trump Entertainment resorts was filed. Trump has also filed bankruptcy over his casino, the Trump Plaza and his Atlantic City Taj Mahal, which pushed him more than $1 million into the red. The presenter and businessman has always bounced back and continued to make money but will there ever be a fifth appearance? Maybe not as Donald is estimated to be worth $3,000,000,000.

Another well know presenter who has spent time in the red is the entertainment chat show host Larry King. Back towards the start of his career, it seemed the fast cars and extravagant spending was all too much for poor Larry's bank account to handle. He amassed tons of debt and filling for bankruptcy was the only escape. The king is now said to be worth around $150 million dollars so this is a perfect example of bouncing back!

It's not just celebrities who can''t manage their bank balances. The 16th president of the USA, Abraham Lincoln filled for bankruptcy twice. He had a business spirit about him and borrowed money from friends and family to invest in his endeavours. This took around 17 years to eventually pay back. Lincoln was not the only president to head to the courts, his successors, The 18th President, Ulysses S. Grant, and the 25th President, William McKinley, both made similar mistakes with getting into debt.

Singers have also had their fare share of misfortune. The late Michael Jackson. There were plenty of times when the King of pop's fortune was reported to be in trouble. People often question how after his net worth was so high but does anyone remember that TV documentary which saw him quite easily spend millions in a single shopping trip? Some people aren't wise when it comes to spending their money and Michael nearly lost his famous Neverland Ranch after defaulting on a loan from the Fortress Investment Group.

Another famous case was that of one hit wonder, MC Hammer. After the success of his song you can't touch this MC Hammer's career was said to be unstoppable, he was coined as being the next big thing and people predicted so much for him. MC Hammer must have also assumed the same and he quickly spent his earnings from his hit song and like most people, assumed more cash would be on its way. Unfortunately, that second hit never came, so Hammer never got paid and couldn't afford to pay off his debts. In 1996 he had debts of more than $10 million.

So it would seem even a number one hit can't save you. Just take a look at chart topper Marvin Gaye. He reached the top spot with Got To Give It Up despite the fact his album, live at the London Palladiumalbum becoming one of the top ten best-selling albums of the year, the soul superstar, had to file for bankruptcy and the opted to move to Hawaii (nice) to live in a bread van (not so nice!).

Even if you have spent most of your life living without millions, once you get it, without the right advice, spending it wisely can help you lose it almost overnight. Lottery winner William 釘udPost won a whopping $16,2 million jackpot and despite what he may have planned on buying with it, it brought him nothing but despair. After only eight years since his big win, Post had to declare himself bankrupt thanks to his extravagant spending on cars, houses and even an aeroplane. He passed away broke and sad.This just goes to show that even all the money in the world can't guarantee you happiness.

About Will Green

A student in England studying Automotive Engineering with Motorsport, Will created Ask Will Online back in 2010 to help students revise and bloggers make money. You can follow AskWillOnline via @AskWillOnline.

7 comments so far:

  1. I was not a well known TV person but at the same time was well known in the City and the Public life. A court case went against me with a $2m judgment due to extremely poor preparation by a so called legal expert.

    Downside - The 'Public life' and shallow friends went into hiding
    Upside - the lawyer did not get paid his $100k plus
    - they won the case but got no money
    - Family and true friends stuck around
    - I used the time in bankruptcy to change course and re-educate myself
    - Four years since 'that day' - balance sheet surplus over $2m and growing at 35% per year.
    In the long run it was the best thing that ever happened to me - my suggestion use the time to plan and work hard (for no immediate dollar return - future gains is the aim) thank the family for being around. Get back of top is a great feeling

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  2. I will leave a comment also. Having been a lottery jackpot winner myself once.

    When I won the lottery back in November of 1997. I did not do as others before had done. I didn't jump up and down like a crazed person.

    I actually thought I would be very wise with my newly gained fortune. So I set wise decisions into motion immediately.

    1st off, I had told my friends I was going to win the lottery within two weeks time just earlier. I actually won the lottery 1.5 weeks after I said that, so I was correct. :-)...

    Upon winning the jackpot, I took the ticket to the bank and had it placed inside the vault in a SDB. Safety Deposit Box...

    I did this so that I could spend the time thinking about "what exactly I was going to do with the money"...

    There was a HUGE FIASCO that happend as I attempted to collect my new fortune from the Washington State Lottery... but that is another story I may tell some day...

    I got my money, and "thoughtfully" split it into two accounts. One business, one personal. The personal received the lessor of the two amounts.. both were quite large...

    I was a "good guy". I used my fortune to do the following;

    1) Paid off all of my personal debts, and bills.
    2) Paid off my ex-gf's debts, paid for her rent 6 months in advance, bought her a new USED car, and paid her student loan all but 90 dollars left so she could finish it off. I did this because I am a nice guy, plus she had our son with her, and so I felt if I was helping her, I was helping my son too.
    3) I bought myself a new USED truck. 1976. Then later got also a used 4 runner 1991, and another truck 1975.
    4) Went on a few flights to see family, and once as a chaparone to my friend who was going to Florida.
    5) The rest of my fortune I spent helping everyone I could. Anyone whom I felt "truly needed help". I did that because I am a nice guy. I dont just say I am... I am ! And my life shows it.
    But the mistakes I made was, not realizing that I needed to invest the money in a way that would allow the pot to be refilled from my expenses helping others. I missed the boat per/say on that part.
    All is all.. I spent 12% of that fortune on myself, and about 8% on misc, and the rest about 80% on my fellow human beings.

    It was a BLAST. The best part was helping other people. PERIOD. Now when I come into huge money again, which I will one day, I will invest correctly in myself first, so that I can invest in the better or help others for the rest of my life. Thats my plan, and I am working on it as I speak :-)

    Good day to everyone whom might read this. God keep you all well, and good.

    I may have spent all of my fortune. But I did it by investing in the betterment of others. And for that reason, I will never have regrets. But I did get a lesson in management as well :-) I remain thankful and grateful, and best of all, I remain "who I have always been". No matter how much or how little I have. I am always just "me".
    Huggs to all
    always Nicholas in Seattle

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  3. That was truly an inspirational read. Amazing!

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  5. Higher and higher people are using bankruptcy as a way of eliminating unmanageable debt, which is why the number of individuals filing for bankruptcy has grown worldwide considerably in the last few years. Bankruptcy is a legal formality or a proceeding in which a business firm or an individual is unable to pay back their outstanding debts to the banker or a creditor.

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  7. Even the richest of people have problems with their cash flow and find themselves in a whole pile of debt.

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