Many of us followed the trial of Casey Anthony. Charged with the murder of her 2-year-old daughter, her criminal trial was headline news in Alabama and throughout the world. A jury found her not guilty of the most serious charges, though she was convicted of lying to law enforcement personnel during the investigation surrounding the child's disappearance in 2008. Now, more than 18 months after she was sentenced to time served and probation, Anthony has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection.
The petition for liquidation of her assets and discharge of her debts reportedly comprises 60 pages. Many of the debts listed concern expenses related to her criminal trial, including a half million dollars in legal fees. Other debts for which Anthony seeks discharge include a judgment almost $150,000 in investigative fees incurred by law enforcement concerning the case.
Moreover, she seeks discharge from any potential liability concerning several lawsuits. One of them is for defamation of character and was filed by an individual whose name is the same as that provided by Anthony during the criminal investigation. Anthony suggested that a woman of the same name absconded with the child.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is available to anyone in Alabama or another state. A court appointed trustee typically takes charge of a filer's assets that are not otherwise exempt by law. The nonexempt assets are liquidated and applied to outstanding debt. In many instances, it is possible to receive a discharge from all outstanding debt, though some taxes and student loan debt may not be eligible. Those seeking a new start may benefit from gaining an understanding of how bankruptcy may help achieve a fresh financial start.
Source: CBS News, "Casey Anthony files for bankruptcy in Florida, court records say," Jan. 28, 2013