Category Archives: Celebrity Bankruptcy Cases

Update Regarding Paul Teutul’s Chapter 13 Bankruptcy May 8 2018


Since the last time I took a look at American Chopper star Paul Teutul’s Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing a lot happened. Again, as a fan of American Chopper I am saddened by Mr. Teutul’s bankruptcy filing. At the same time and I am a huge advocate for second chances and our right to seek protection under the Bankruptcy Code as Congress wrote it and the President of the United States of America signed into law. I am hopeful Paul Teutul, Sr., can get the relief he desires and save his home from foreclosure. Since my last update I learned that Paul Tuetul, Sr. is actually legally a junior and that is why the bankruptcy petition provides Paul Teutul, Jr. filed for bankruptcy protection and that appears to be legally correct. Who knew?

Paul Teutul, Sr. Has Changed Attorneys

The first noteworthy occurrence was Paul Teutul, Sr. changed bankruptcy attorneys from Michael A. Koplen to Erica a. Aisner on or around April 5, 2018. There are any number of reasons to change bankruptcy attorneys and it would be improper to speculate as to why. Every bankruptcy filer has the right to represent themselves in bankruptcy or hire an attorney of their choosing to represent their interests in a bankruptcy case. See Section 527 of the Bankruptcy Code for more information on that.

Motion For Relief From Stay Filed By JTM Motorsports, LLC

The backbone of the bankruptcy process is the automatic stay that goes into effect as soon as a bankruptcy case is filed enjoining or stopping any and all collection activity such as foreclosures, repossession, lawsuits, wage garnishments and other debt collection activity. A creditor, or party that is owed money or has a claim at the time the case is filed may request the bankruptcy court grant relief from the automatic stay under certain circumstances. Relief from the stay gives that creditor or claimant holder bankruptcy court permission to continue to enforce their state law rights against the bankruptcy filer to collect on the debt or alleged claim owed to them. The most common reason for a creditor to seek relief from stay is unpaid mortgage payments or unpaid vehicle loan payments. These are secured debts so the creditor will want relief from stay to continue to enforce their rights against the collateral securing their debt by beginning or continuing a foreclosure action on real property or repossess personal property like a vehicle.

Paul Teutul, Sr. listed a 2009 Corvette ZR1 as an asset and JTM Motorsports alleges they have a lien, or garagemans’s lien, against the 2009 Corvette ZR1, securing a debt owed to them by Paul Teutul, Sr. The Amended Chapter 13 Plan Paul Teutul, Sr. filed does not provide a treatment for JTM Motorsports, LLC’s alleged secured claim against the 2009 Corvette ZR1, the collateral securing the alleged lien. I say alleged claim given Paul Teutul, Sr. may be able to object to the claim being secured. JTM Mortorsports, LLC, is saying either pay us through the Chapter 13 Plan or give us our collateral back, the 2009 Corvette ZR1. Time will tell how this all plays out.

JTM Motorsports LLC’s Objection to Confirmation of Paul Teutul Sr.’s Chapter 13 Plan

When a secured debt is not listed in a Chapter 13 Plan a creditor does normally object to confirmation or approval of the Chapter 13 Plan of reorganization for this reason. Confirmation of a chapter 13 plan means approval of the terms of the chapter 13 plan pursuant to Section 1325 of the Bankruptcy Code. As the motion for relief from stay filed by JTM Motorsports, LLC, also alleges, the Paul Teutul Sr.’s Amended Chapter 13 Plan does not provide for payment to allegedly secured creditor JTM Motorsports, LLC. The hearing on JTM Motorsports, LLC’s motion for relief from stay is schedule for June 5, 2018. Again, time will tell what happens.

Amendments of Petition and Statements

Paul Teutul, Sr. recently amended his schedules to include many more vehicles and all-terrain vehicles to his assets with values listed. This is 54 pages of changes and provides a clearer picture of Paul Teutul Sr.’s assets. This is not uncommon given for most filing for bankruptcy is a last resort to preserve assets. Again, I hope Paul Teutul, Sr. gets the relief he wishes and saves his home from foreclosure.
That is it for now. I hope to next provide an update that the case is moving along, not dismissed and relief is just around the corner.

Rapper DMX Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Relief

By Ryan C. Wood

Rapper DMX filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy relief on Monday, July 29, 2013 in the Southern District of New York. The bankruptcy case number is 13-23254. He filed his bankruptcy case under “Earl Simmons” aka DMX aka Dark Man X. He previously filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition back in August of 2009, but the case was dismissed. He also filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition in December of 2009 but did not receive a discharge of his debt.

According to his filed petition and list of 20 largest creditors he has debts like most other consumers: he has small medical debts, credit card collection and other types of collection activity. He also has multiple judgments filed against him that exceed over $400,000. He owes American Honda Finance a little over $21,000 for an unsecured car loan. His largest debts are his family support obligations: one where he owes more than $1.24 million and another where he owes a little over $84,000.

It seems like there are more and more professional athletes and movie stars seeking the advice of bankruptcy lawyers to file for relief. The mortgage meltdown took down a number of wealthy athletes the last few years. Child support and unpaid taxes are also issues that celebrities have issues with, especially retired athletes. Once they retire and they do not receive a check each month cash flow tightens up real quick. Too many fancy leased cars and extravagant homes do not help either. Hopefully DMX will bounce back strong as ever from his bankruptcy filing.

Everyone files for bankruptcy to obtain a “fresh start” in their lives. Everyone makes mistakes whether they are financial or otherwise. The key is recognizing those mistakes and doing something about it. Filing for bankruptcy is not a shameful action. Ask any bankruptcy attorney, the need to file bankruptcy can truly happen to anyone. It can happen to someone that was rich and famous and made some bad investment decisions. It can happen to someone that has to support a family of five working a minimum wage job living from paycheck to paycheck. I always tell my clients that it is a business decision they make when their debts exceed their ability to repay them. Everyone has the chance to correct their mistakes and should not be held prisoner by their debts for the rest of their life. Everyone deserves a second chance for a “fresh start.” Once you get rid of the toxic debts you are free to begin again like DMX will be able to.

Do You Need to File for Bankruptcy? You are Not Alone

By Ryan C. Wood

A lot of my clients that are faced with having to file for bankruptcy feel like they are alone in this financial calamity and that they will never recover financially.  You do not have to feel alone. There were over 1.4 million bankruptcy filings in the United States for the 12-month period ending September 30, 2011.  These people came from all aspects of life – poor, middle class and even some mega rich people have had to file for bankruptcy.  You may even recognize some of these famous people that have filed for bankruptcy in the past: Cyndi Lauper, Kim Basinger, La Toya Jackson, Larry King, Mickey Rooney, Mike Tyson, Natalie Cole, Stephen Baldwin, Toni Braxton and Walt Disney.

I would view filing for bankruptcy as a financially sound business decision.  I am sure the famous bankruptcy filers above look at bankruptcy the same way.  You take a hard look at your bottom line – after paying all the necessities of life like a mortgage/rent, utilities, food, insurance and transportation do you have enough left over to pay your creditors?  If not, then one of the options you should take a look at is filing for bankruptcy protection.

Filing for bankruptcy does not mean that it is the death of your financial history.  There are two things learned from these famous filers:  1) Anyone can have financial problems and even the rich and famous may need to file for bankruptcy, 2) You can get a fresh start and come back even stronger financially.  Some of these famous people that have filed for bankruptcy are more financially well off than ever.  Filing for bankruptcy helped these people restructure or discharge their debts.  Once their debts are discharge they are free to pursue their passion and their dreams to get back to where they used to be.

You can do the same as these famous people who have fallen on hard times.  If you are having problems with your mortgage payment qualify to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy we take a look at your financial situation and see which chapter of bankruptcy would benefit you the most.  After your bankruptcy case is filed and your debts are discharged you can rebuild your credit and financial life back up to its former glory or even exceeding it.

If you are struggling with credit card debts, a car payment or mortgage payment bankruptcy can help.  I have been a bankruptcy lawyer my whole career and am available to help you at 1-877-9NEW-LIFE or 877-963-9543 to schedule a free consultation today.