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Botched Chapter 7 filing puts CNET founder in limbo

In 2008, the founder of CNET sold the company to CBS for roughly $1.8 billion. The sale saw him pocket about $200 million from the deal; but just five years later, and CNET's founder has fallen on hard financial times. The 47-year-old claims that he has $50 million in assets, only to be outdone by $100 million in debts. He filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in May and had a deadline of June 7 to file an important document to bankruptcy court. The document must include detailed information on assets, debts and the general "state of affairs" involving the insolvent individual.

However, the 47-year-old missed the deadline, leading to the dismissal of his bankruptcy case. He now sits in limbo as he and his legal team work towards creating a new filing.

There are a couple of things to take away from this story, and the first is that bankruptcy cases should be handled very delicately. Bankruptcy is not something you simply file for, and then "everything is good." There are many steps to the process; and in the case of Chapter 7, a filer will almost certainly lose a number of assets to clear up his or her financial situation. The assets will be sold to pay off the individual's creditors.

This means that when you are given a deadline, you meet that deadline. Whatever it is regarding, you want to loop your legal team in on the situation and figure out how to handle the task at hand. If you take the filing seriously, you can have the process over more quickly, and likely with better results.

Source: Bloomberg, "CNET Founder's Bankruptcy Thrown Out Over Missed Deadline," Erik larson & Dawn McCarty, June 13, 2013

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