Most people in Texas likely believe that their financial problems would all be solved with a large influx of money. However, for those who are unable to manage the money that they are suddenly given, it may still not be enough to give them financial stability. That proved to be the case for one couple in another state who won a multi-million dollar verdict. It was reported recently that the couple filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in September.
The couple's bankruptcy petition lists the value of their current home, which sits on 10.5 acres, at $700,000. Their petition also reports the couple's personal property assets at a total of $32,992. Liabilities of $611,085 are claimed by the couple. This includes claims on two vehicles totaling $7,031 and a $482,876 home loan with U.S. Bank. The Missouri couple's unsecured claims are said to total $129,584 among 11 creditors.
In 2004 the couple won a verdict for $20 million against a popcorn company where the husband had been working. The lawsuit found that the popcorn company was liable for damages caused by butter flavoring chemicals that induced bronchiolitis obliterans in the husband. Medical experts testified at the trial that the man would eventually require a double-lung transplant.
It's not clear how much of the award the couple actually received. Now, eight years later, they have opted to seek Chapter 7 bankruptcy in order to try to gain some new financial footing. Reports indicate that a forced sale of the home may be required, but the specifics of how things will progress are still to be determined. And it should be noted that there are significant competing claims that could affect the final disposition of this case.
Bankruptcy protection, whether Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, can provide some exemptions for certain items of property which consumers may retain during such proceedings. Each state has its own laws regarding exemptions, and Texas residents planning to file for bankruptcy would be well advised to reach out to experienced legal counsel for help in learning the specific laws governing exemptions in this jurisdiction.
Source: The Wichita Eagle