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Ex-Arkansas coach wins debt discharge through Chapter 7

The last two minutes of a football game often take a whole lot longer than the time that's on the clock. That being the case, perhaps it should not be too surprising that the Chapter 7 bankruptcy case involving former Arkansas Razorbacks coach John L. Smith continues to linger somewhat.

Readers of this blog know that we have been tracking the case fairly steadily. Last week, word came that the federal bankruptcy judge handling the matter signed off on an agreement that had been worked out to resolve ongoing disputes with some of Smith's creditors. In addition to that approval, the judge also granted a discharge of $12 million that Smith owed to those creditors. What remains in question is exactly how much creditors will receive as a result of the deal.

The $12 million figure is only a portion of the nearly $41 million in debt that Smith listed when he first filed for bankruptcy protection in September 2012.

What the media is reporting is that while this discharge has been granted, Smith will have to pay $265,000 to bring the case to a close. USA Today says the terms also call for him to turn over $400,000 worth of real estate. Smith had cited failed real estate deals as the source of his debt trouble in the first place.

Regardless of the final details of this case, it looks like the outcome is a positive one for Smith. Discharge of debt is typically a key objective of filing for bankruptcy and with his discharge in hand, creditors can no longer seek to collect on Smith's debt.

At the same time, Smith can put his 10-month interim season with the Razorbacks behind him and focus on his new team at Fort Lewis College in Colorado.

Source: ArkansasBusiness.com, "Former Razorbacks Coach John L. Smith Gets Discharge in Bankruptcy Case," Sept. 9, 2013

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