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Actor files Chapter 7 bankruptcy for tax debts

"ER," a television series that aired in 1994 and ended in 2009 was a favorite of many Americans, including those in Chattanooga, Tennessee. For this reason, many might have assumed that the actors and actresses who land a starring role in a hit TV series are financially stable and secure up to now. This might not be the case in the Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing of Mekhi Phifer.

It seems that Mekhi Phifer is facing financial challenges following his personal bankruptcy filing on April 22. According to the report, the 39-year-old man accumulated debt worth $1.2 million, with a majority of it stemming from back taxes. The court documents also included Phifer's $50,000 debt for accounting and legal fees.

Phifer declared that he has over $67,000 in assets, which is certainly not enough to pay his back taxes. His assets include a leather bed, three firearms, a 12-year-old Segway and a 2003 Range Rover. The actor claimed that the $7,545 current household monthly income is insufficient to meet the $11,574 in monthly expenses shared by him and his wife.

In contrast, the report stated that Phifer had a recurring role in another series and was cast in a box-office movie, "Divergent." The actor married his longtime girlfriend last April.

Whenever a famous actor or actress files for bankruptcy, people often believe that he or she was broke or improperly managed money. That may not be the case, particularly if filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy may relieve the debtor from creditor harassment and recurring financial challenges.

Mekhi Phifer's personal bankruptcy filing may show that everyone, including Tennessee residents, is prone to mounting debt and financial struggles. Fortunately, the potential impact of those debts may be preventable through a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Although Chapter 7 involves the liquidation of assets, the debtor may retain some of his or her property through bankruptcy exemptions.

Source: ABC News, "ER Actor Mekhi Phifer Files for Bankruptcy," Luchina Fisher, May 8, 2014

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