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No laughing matter: Deep in debt, Sinbad seeks Chapter 13

After enjoying success in the 1990s, comedian Sinbad has seen a shift in his financial situation. Since appearing in popular movies like "Jungle All the Way," the man legally known as David Adkins has accumulated significant amounts of tax and credit card debt. In order to find greater stability, Sinbad made the decision to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

According to documents filed in court, Sinbad currently has $131,000 in assets. On the other hand, however, the comedian has nearly $11 million in debts. By filing Chapter 13, he will working on paying back large shares of his debts over the next few years.

In many situations where debts outweigh assets by such a significant measure, individuals may qualify for Chapter 7. However, in this case, Sinbad may not have met the means-test requirements necessary to go down that path. Seeking Chapter 13 bankruptcy could also allow Sinbad to keep certain pieces of property.

As the comedian works through bankruptcy, he will likely be able to discharge a large share of his credit card debts. However, the same cannot be said for his tax debts, which are much more significant than his outstanding credit card balance. In general, unpaid taxes can't be discharged through personal bankruptcy.

In 2009, Sinbad tried to file bankruptcy as well, but his filing was rejected because the court didn't receive the correct documentation. This shows just how complex the bankruptcy process can be. In order to make sure everything is in order when seeking debt relief, it may be helpful to retain the services of a trustworthy attorney. This way, the bankruptcy plan may have a better chance of succeeding and the Chapter 13 repayment process can proceed smoothly.

Source: The Columbus Dispatch, "Sinbad, almost $11M in debt, files for bankruptcy," May 21, 2013

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