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Former University of Michigan hockey star's bankruptcy continues

Financial issues can hit anyone in Michigan. No matter who it is, what they do and how much money they make, filing for bankruptcy might end up being a necessity to get debts in order and regain a sound financial station. There is nothing to be ashamed of in seeking debt relief, provided the person filing follows the correct path and has legal assistance in doing so.

As some Michigan residents may know, hockey star Jack Johnson has been in the midst of a high-profile bankruptcy. Mr. Johnson had initially claimed that he was in debt for $10 million because his parents allegedly used his money frivolously. However, two of the lenders involved in the case have stated that the parents and Mr. Johnson were working together in taking the loans and are trying to use bankruptcy to get out of paying them back. The lenders are disputing Mr. Johnson's attempts to alter his filing from Chapter 11 to Chapter 7. With a Chapter 7, it is possible to liquidate the assets and give back less to the lenders once the case is settled.

Mr. Johnson's attempt to change the type of bankruptcy would benefit him if it goes through. His contract is worth $15 million over the next three years for the Columbus Blue Jackets, and a Chapter 7 bankruptcy completed as soon as possible would protect his future earnings. The lenders point to the items that Mr. Johnson and his parents purchased including properties, improvements to a property in Michigan, six cars, an expensive wedding and travel as evidence. A friend of Mr. Johnson's from the university who also advised him on his finances believes he's trying to divert attention away from his own financial missteps by blaming his parents.

Those who have accrued significant debt need to understand that bankruptcy is that there is help available, in addition to filing for bankruptcy. For example, a debtor may wish to enter into financial counseling or to undergo debt negotiations with their lenders. For a full understanding on whether filing for bankruptcy under Chapter 7 or Chapter 11 are options or if a debt renegotiation is possible, it may help to speak to a bankruptcy professional.

Source: The Columbus Dispatch, "Jack Johnson's bankruptcy claims disputed," Aaron Portzline, Sept. 19, 2015

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