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Couple who received $20 million files for personal bankruptcy

For residents in Chattanooga who are struggling with financial challenges, receiving millions of dollars would be a dream. It seems like it would be the answer to all of their problems, and the last thing that would be on their mind is debt or bankruptcy. However, that is not always the case.

A couple received a cash settlement of over $20 million in 2004 for a case where the husband was exposed to a chemical while at work and had contracted what was known as "popcorn lung." However, that couple just had to file a personal bankruptcy claim with greatly diminished assets and over $600,000 in liabilities.

Oftentimes, receiving a large cash settlement does not always mean that the financial challenges people are facing will go away. In some cases, if not handled correctly, the cash can even make their situation worse. For many who are looking for debt relief, a large cash settlement might not be available. For those who have mounting credit card debt or medical expenses, an option to eliminate debt or to try to get manageable payments is to file a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Those are some of the only ways that someone can be sure to eliminate debt.

People who have a lower income and fewer assets typically use a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows for a discharge of all debts. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is for anyone who has more assets or a higher income but still needs to file, and it involves a payment plan in order to be discharged.

Sometimes life leaves individuals with a mountain of debt that just seems so high that it is unmanageable. However, there are ways of getting help with that debt, and bankruptcy is one of the clearest ways to get that help.

Source: ABC News, "'Popcorn Lung' couple gets $20M award, files for bankruptcy," Alan Farnham, Oct. 15, 2012

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Kenneth C. Rannick, P.C.
4416 Brainerd Road
Chattanooga, TN 37411

Phone: 423-624-4002
Toll Free: 800-257-7594
Fax: 423-624-0509
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