Evan Texas Billionaires Need Bankruptcy Protection – Maybe?

Posted on Dec 12, 2014 By Carla M. Handy

Attorney Carla M. HandyTexas billionaire, (and Keith Richards look alike), Samuel Wyly filed for bankruptcy protection in Texas on October 19, 2014.  Mr. Wyly is an entrepreneur that began his career in the computer industry and used the fortune the company amassed to branch out into the restaurant and insurance industries as well as the energy sector.  Interestingly, Mr. Wyly and his brother purchased the Ponderosa/Bonanza Steakhouse chain from Dan Blocker who played Hoss Cartwright in the Bonanza television series.  The Wyly brothers sold the restaurant chain in 1989 after opening 600 stores in the chain.

Sam Wyly and his wife purchased the largest independent bookstore in Colorado in 2007 to save the iconic store from real estate investors.  Prior to filing for bankruptcy relief in October, 2014, the Wylys placed bookstore back on the market.   Since the purchase of the bookstore in 2007, Mr. Wyly began his own involvement in the publishing world, writing his own memoir and co-authoring a book with  his son about the great state of Texas.

Upon filing for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11 in October, 2014, Mr. Wyly requested permission from Chief Bankruptcy Judge Barbara Houser to continue paying his personal writing assistants $32,000.00 PER MONTH (gasp!) in order to continue his on-going book writing efforts.  It is no surprise that Judge Houser expressed skepticism in approving Mr. Wyly’s proposed budget for his writing endeavors.  Bankruptcy judges will require that regular monthly expenses of a debtor be reasonable and necessary for the support of a debtor and the debtor’s dependents, even debtors in the “1%” like Mr. Wyly.  Often bankruptcy judges will consider, among other factors, nationals standards set by the IRS for housing, utility and food costs for the household. Bankruptcy judges will also utilize their good common sense in determining whether a particular expense is truly necessary for the debtor’s support.

Samuel Wyly’s bankruptcy is simply an extravagant example of the role a debtor’s living expenses plays in the bankruptcy process.  If you are preparing to file for bankruptcy relief, it’s a good idea to sit down with your monthly budget to analyze whether there are expenses that could be eliminated or reduced to a more reasonable amount.  My fellow Bond & Botes attorney, Mary Poole, has written an excellent blog on areas to consider in creating a workable household budget.

If you are considering a filing for bankruptcy relief and wish to consult with a qualified bankruptcy attorney about your options, please contact one of our locations nearest you in Alabama, Mississippi or Tennessee for a free, confidential consultation.