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Real bankruptcy of New Jersey

The Garden State has some famous firsts and some famous people. New Jersey is the site of the first baseball game. We're known for our boardwalk and beaches as well as our sweet corn and salt water taffy. Our famous people include Bruce Springsteen, Frank Sinatra, Bon Jovi, Buzz Aldrin and "The Sopranos." Our famous people also include the "Real Housewives of New Jersey."

One of the real housewives and her husband filed for bankruptcy -- for real. According to news sources, one of the reality show New Jersey housewives and her husband filed for personal bankruptcy when they were unable to keep up with payments on some rental property.

The debt problems allegedly stemmed from the non-payment of rent by the tenants in apartment buildings owned by the couple. They apparently claimed that when the tenants didn't pay, that they could not make the mortgage payments.

The news sources do not state the type of bankruptcy filed by the couple; however a bankruptcy trustee is mentioned, so the couple may have been in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is one in which payments are made to a trustee over a period of time, usually three to five years, and the trustee pays the creditors. At the end of the agreed upon period of time any remaining debts are discharged.

According to reliable sources, the banks that held the mortgages for the apartment buildings sold the buildings, thereby liquidating those financial assets and liabilities for the Jersey couple.

In addition, the bankruptcy trustee charged that the couple was concealing assets, which is a crime. There was no mention made regarding the resolution of that particular issue, although the husband had reportedly pled the Fifth Amendment when asked about hidden assets.

One of the key aspects of any bankruptcy filing is the complete and truthful reporting of all assets as well as debts. It remains to be seen whether this New Jersey couple will emerge from bankruptcy unscathed.

Source:, "'Real Housewives of New Jersey': Teresa Giudice talks bankruptcy, mean jokes and those stripper rumors," Vicki Hyman, April 24, 2012

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