Matthew Dunaway January 2018

Bankruptcy and ‘The Dark Knight’ BATMAN! Holy Homestead Exemption,

In the movie “The Dark Knight Rises,” supervillain Bane goes after the source of Batman’s power: his wealth. It’s a solid plan. Without the Batmobile and the Batcave, with all of its high-tech gadgets within, Bruce Wayne would be little more than an eccentric martial artist. Through a convoluted scheme in which Bane takes the stock exchange hostage, the villain manages to send Wayne into financial ruin. Unfortunately, the criminal mastermind seems to have been unaware Gotham has the most lenient bankruptcy exemptions in the country. After Bane’s plan comes to fruition, we are informed Bruce Wayne is bankrupt. He morosely tells Catwoman, “They’re letting me keep the house.” This is an extremely lucky break for Batman, considering the millions of dollars’ worth of illegal, military- grade hardware he has stockpiled in the caves beneath his mansion. But under what circumstances would the fictional billionaire be allowed to keep his family manor after filing

for bankruptcy? Well, it depends on what state “Gotham” is in.

Most bankruptcy laws fall squarely in the jurisdiction of the federal government. However, states are allowed to adjust certain parameters, especially those tied to exemptions. Homestead exemptions vary wildly across the country, though few would be lenient enough to let Wayne keep his lavish mansion. New York, Gotham’s closest analog, caps the home exemption at $150,000. A generous sum, but nowhere near the value of a mansion. Had Batman resided here in Birmingham, he’d really be out of luck. As a man under 65, Wayne would only qualify for $7,500 dollars’ worth of homestead exemptions, a fraction of what the palatial Wayne Manor must be worth. The full value of his home could be made exempt were he permanently disabled. While Bane does break Batman’s back shortly after bankrupting him,

the hero miraculously recovers and goes right back to crime fighting.

Ultimately, one shouldn’t fault the filmmakers for this fanciful portrayal. While the trilogy, directed by Christopher Nolan, is grim, the harsh reality of losing one’s home to bankruptcy may have been too much, even for Batman.

Leftover Turkey R AME N Recipe of the Month:

Bible Verse “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” Jeremiah 29:11

Ingredients • 1 leftover turkey carcass • 6 scallions, divided • 8 slices ginger • 6 dried shiitake mushrooms • 16 cups water Instructions 1. Remove most of the meat from the turkey carcass, shred, and set aside. Put carcass in a large stockpot, along with 3 scallions, ginger, mushrooms, and water. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 3 hours. 2. Place eggs in a small saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, then immediately remove pot from heat and let sit for 4 minutes. Transfer eggs to an ice bath to cool. (Recipe inspired by

• 4 eggs • 4 ounces bacon • 4 portions fresh, not instant, ramen noodles • 2 cups leftover turkey, shredded

3. Cook bacon until crisp. Drain, chop, and set aside. Chop remaining scallions. 4. Once the broth is done

simmering, prepare the fresh noodles according to package directions. Divide noodles among 4 bowls and cover with broth. Add shredded turkey, chopped scallions, chopped bacon, and an egg to each bowl.

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