A Florida couple has gone from hosting fundraisers for presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, to auctioning off their house and selling other vacation properties in order to pay back millions of dollars owed to creditors. As of now, it also appears that the couple's financial problems stem from a failed business venture.
According to their federal bankruptcy court filing, the 52-year-old entrepreneur and his wife are so swamped with debt that they have stopped making mortgage payments on the Star Island Estate. The estate used to be owned by rapper Vanilla Ice, sits on an acre of property and has nine bedrooms. The starting bid is for $10.5 million.
Aside from the Florida estate, the couple is also hoping to sell a Swiss resort condominium and a ski cabin. Between the three properties, it's believed the couple could end up with millions of dollars that would in turn be used to pay back multiple debts accrued with banks and other lenders. In total the 52-year-old reportedly owes $50 million in liabilities.
Additionally -- if approved -- under their federal bankruptcy plan, the 52-year-old entrepreneur would be able to once again be the president of InnoVida, a company that produces high-tech building materials. The company was started in 2005, and in March a bankruptcy trustee officially shut it down.
If the bankruptcy reorganizational plan is approved, the company's name will also change to SPV.
In general, even though there are questions regarding this entrepreneur's business practices, his situation does highlight the fact that business owners can find themselves personally financially struggling if their company goes under. Fortunately, in those situations there are often bankruptcy solutions available that would allow for an owner to reorganize their company and debts, in order to once again start being profitable and paying back what is owed.
Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel, "Star Island mansion auction starts at $10.5 million," Jay Weaver, Oct. 25, 2011