Historically in the United States, bankruptcy is a term that has carried an extremely negative connotation. Those who file for bankruptcy protection are seen, mostly by themselves, as failures who could not meet their monthly obligations. Unfortunately, this is almost always an inaccurate way to think about and approach bankruptcy, as you’ll see below.
When people think of successful businessmen in the United States, many will either immediately or quickly think of Donald Trump. He’s long been famous for his aggressive business tactics and his willingness to make the ‘big deal’ that makes a huge splash with the media. Most of Trump’s success has been within the real estate field, but as anyone who’s been paying attention in recent months understands, the real estate market is in dire straits.
When a market-wide crash occurs as it is right now, no one is exempt from its effects. That includes Donald Trump, whose real estate company has also fallen on hard times given the dropping values of land and property, the extreme difficulty with obtaining competitive financing and the lack of ability to sell property at a price that presents a profit to the seller.
As a result, Trump’s real estate company recently filed for bankruptcy. Since it was technically a corporate bankruptcy petition, filed under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code, Trump’s individual assets are not at risk. However, his company must now be reorganized under the tenets of bankruptcy law and it must meet all the criteria set out by the court in order for the reorganization to be accepted and to ultimately be successful in getting the company back on its feet.
Not the First Time
Additionally, this latest filing for bankruptcy protection is not the first time one of Trump’s development companies has sought bankruptcy protection. Trump’s company also filed for bankruptcy protection in 1991 during the previous American recession and for many of the same reasons – his company owed too much money and his assets could not be sold to the point where the company could meet its obligations.
What anyone should take from this brief bit of history is that anyone can fall into hard times financially and because of circumstances beyond his or her control. Those who may be struggling should also understand that bankruptcy is not an end, but rather a beginning anew, as Trump has already proven.