Back in the days of the old west, people used to call six-guns the “great equalizer.” Today, especially in the recent years of financial turmoil, individuals might find themselves justified in saying that the real great equalizer in Arkansas is debt.

It doesn’t matter what your situation might once have been, circumstances can shift suddenly and leave you in a lurch financially. It happens to millions of individuals and businesses every year. For many, the ultimate solution for getting through the harsh times and back on solid ground is bankruptcy protection by way of a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 filing.

For one prominent Little Rock widow, Chapter 7 is said to have been her only choice. Readers of this blog may be familiar with the challenges being faced by Mitzi Osborne. The widow of noted businessman Jennings Osborne has reportedly been struggling to recover the family’s financial footing since her husband died in July 2011.

Late that year, she sold off several dozen vehicles for about $280,000. Then, in 2012, personal possessions of the family were auctioned off, raising almost $900,000. Finally, this past June, Osborne filed for bankruptcy.

Many in the community were stunned by all the developments. Jennings Osborne had had a reputation of being completely secure financially. He was noted for his philanthropy and for being somewhat extravagant.

While Osborne filed for bankruptcy last month, the details of her situation weren’t immediately apparent. Documents filed last week, though, state that she has debts of $1.2 million. Her claimed assets exceed that amount slightly, but are also mostly held in Little Rock properties that are apparently subject to liens by Metropolitan National Bank. Her only real income is reported to be about $2,200 she gets in Social Security.

Her attorney says that after all her valiant effort to balance the debt incurred by her family in the past few years, bankruptcy represents hope at recovery.

Source:, “Mitzi Osborne Owes $1.2 Million in Bankruptcy,” July 15, 2013