Beckett Law - December 2018

Bankruptcy Doesn’t Have to Be a Bad Thing

3 Successful People Who Declared Bankruptcy

There is a stigma attached to the word “bankruptcy.” Between our society’s belief that money means success and the simultaneous idea that admitting your shortcomings means weakness of character, it’s no wonder people shy away from even considering bankruptcy as an option to fixing their financial plight. Desperately struggling people buy into the theory that bankruptcy is the ultimate failure and wrongly believe it destroys credit scores and the ability to borrow forever. This is contrary to our experience, which is that bankruptcy is an important tool in the toolbox needed to regain financial stability. The process of declaring bankruptcy can help you discover your strengths and learn from past mistakes. You’d be surprised how many people have filed bankruptcy and gone on to great success, including: Walt Disney Disney was a pioneer in character animation and perhaps one of the most innovative businessmen in history. Walt filed bankruptcy in 1920, and his company filed in 1923, but he went on to enjoy tremendous success in the entertainment industry. Donald Trump

City. Then several more of his casinos and hotels went bust in 1992. It happened again in 2004 and 2009. Despite the bankruptcies, he’s been incredibly successful in the political arena. Burt Reynolds As one of the biggest stars in Hollywood in the ‘70s, Reynolds spent his money lavishly, owning mansions, a helicopter, restaurants, and a ranch in Florida. By 1996, he owed creditors $10 million and had to declare bankruptcy. He regrouped and, at his death, was believed to be worth more than $5 million. The point is … you’re not alone. If you or someone you know is facing financial stress, considering bankruptcy, or just wants additional information, please feel free to reach out to our team.

Trump has never personally filed for bankruptcy, but his companies have filed six times. The first time was in 1991, with the Trump Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic


Only Give to Reputable Charities. Do some research before donating to charities. Look up any prospective charity on Charity Navigator at This service flags “high concern” organizations suspected of fraud and ranks how reliable established charities are. Even legitimate organizations can be misleading about how they spend their donations. A good rule of thumb is to avoid organizations that spend more than 25 percent of donations on salaries or administrative costs.

During the season of giving, charities receive a much-needed rush of donations as people open their hearts to others. Unfortunately, criminals are all too willing to abuse this goodwill. According to a report from the Justice Department, Americans over the age of 60 lose over $3 billion a year to scams and fraudsters. As charity scams reach their peak, here’s what you need to do to ensure your donations aren’t lining the pockets of criminals. Never Give by Phone or Email. Charities regularly reach out to past and potential donors through traditional mail, email, phone calls, or text messages. This means fraudsters will mimic their approach with less noble intentions. Because it’s impossible to determine who is on the other end of a call or email, you should never hand over your credit card information to strangers. If you really are speaking to a representative from a legitimate charity, they will direct you to a secure avenue where you can give without worry. Feeling Pressured? Walk Away. A lot of charities set goals they want to reach before the new year, but even groups that are hoping to raise a certain amount of money know better than to pressure donors into giving. Donations should always come from the heart, and it’s a bad sign if someone insists there’s a deadline for giving. As the Better Business Bureau says, “Responsible organizations will welcome your gift tomorrow as much as they do today.”

There are many amazing charities and organizations that do good work. Stay vigilant to make sure you are bringing joy to the world and not falling for a criminal looking to make a quick buck.

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