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Once millionaires file for personal bankruptcy

Illness can certainly wreak havoc on a family. The medical bills and strain put on one person to take care of all of the family's affairs can lead to bills going unpaid and debt spiraling out of control.

This is exactly what one woman claimed when she and her husband asked for a default judgment to be put aside. The $108,000 judgment stemmed from the couple not responding in a timely matter to a lawsuit filed for an unpaid bill by a contractor who was working on their $3.9 million home.

According to a motion filed by the couple, they ran into troubles when the husband's health started to slide.

Back in 2004, the couple received a $20 million verdict after the husband was diagnosed with bronchiolitis obliterans after working at a popcorn plant. The chemical in the butter flavoring for the popcorn supposedly caused his illness. The couple was the first of many workers to file a lawsuit against the three makers of the butter flavoring.

After receiving the verdict, the couple went about building a home. The home sits on 10.5 acres and is valued at $700,000. However, just how the costs accumulated is still unknown. The couple claims the house was initially projected to cost $400,000 to build, but that projection ended up drastically increasing to $3.9 million.

However, their home is just one of their financial setbacks. According to their recently filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the couple owes more than $610,000 to secured and unsecured creditors. Going forward, it has been reported the couple is going to have to sell their home in order to pay off creditors. They owe $482,876 on the mortgage.

Source: Wichita Eagle, "Missouri couple bankrupt eight years after winning 'popcorn lung' verdict," Jeff Lehr, Oct. 15, 2012

  • Whether it's due to illness, or simply falling behind on bills, our firm has experience in debt relief. To learn more, please visit our Orlando consumer bankruptcy page.

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