Most in Salem may assume that the decision to file for bankruptcy is a personal one. However, if certain conditions are met, one’s creditors could attempt to force him or her into bankruptcy. Typically, one or more creditors will file a petition of bankruptcy with the court. From that point, the debtor in question has a limited amount of time to respond. If he or she does not, then the court may choose to approve the bankruptcy, which forces the debtor to then participate in the proceedings. If, on the other hand, the debtor chooses to challenge the petition, he or she will be allowed a hearing to determine if he or she truly can or cannot meet his or her debts.

Former college and NBA basketball player Christian Laettner is currently facing such a scenario after five of his creditors initiated a petition meant to force him into Chapter 7 bankruptcy. While the exact details regarding the $14 million these creditors claim they are owed was not reported, Laettner is known to have faced financial troubles in the past, including owing money to other professional athletes. He currently has until July 19 to make arrangements to settle the debts in question. His attorney reports that a recent sale by the former Duke Blue Devil’s real estate firm will provide the funds needed to settle the matter.

Being forced into bankruptcy may seem like a scary proposition. It is not, though, something that one must accept lying down. One may be able to successfully challenge such a petition and even have it dismissed. Doing so may require the assistance of an experienced bankruptcy attorney.

Source: ESPN “Christian Laettner owes more than 14 million, might face bankruptcy” Rovell, Darren, July 06, 2006