Earlier this year, Bond & Botes attorney Kathryn Davis wrote a wonderful blog about involuntary bankruptcies. In a nut shell, an involuntary bankruptcy is a rare form of bankruptcy filing in which creditors file a bankruptcy petition against a debtor. This form of bankruptcy works to protect creditors and helps them collect money from debtors that they potentially would never collect. Nearly all involuntary bankruptcies are against businesses. However, the Bankruptcy Code does allow creditors to file involuntary bankruptcies against individuals but they are extremely rare. In fact, they are almost as rare as catching a 70 foot pass, dribbling once, turning and almost blindly hitting the game winning shot in the 1992 NCAA Championship Game against Kentucky. Ironically, Christian Laettner now knows how both of those extremely rare events feel.
Christian Laettner’s Creditors File Involuntary Bankruptcy
On June 28, 2016 five of Christian Laettner’s creditors joined forces and filed an involuntary bankruptcy against him personally. Those creditors are seeking a combined $14,051,927.84. The involuntary bankruptcy petition does not list any of the reasons that the creditors are owed this money, but it appears to be from a mixed-use real estate development in Durham, North Carolina
Lawsuits Against Laettner
This is not the first of Christian Laettner’s financial troubles. In 2015, his multi-million dollar mansion in Ponte Verda Beach Florida was foreclosed. Laettner also owes two high-profile professional athletes millions. Both Scottie Pippen and Shawn Merriman claim that Laettner owes them millions from failed business ventures. In 2006, Christian Laettner and former Duke teammate Brian Davis formed Grizzly Acquisition Holdings (GAH) with the purported purpose of buying a controlling interest in the Memphis Grizzlies. Scottie Pippen loaned Laettner and GAH $3 million in order to secure a $4.5 million interest in the Grizzlies and Pippen was to become a “Senior Advisor” for the Grizzlies. The deal appears to have been a sham and in 2008 Scottie Pippen sued Christian Laettner and GAH and received a $2.5 million judgment against him. Later, in 2010, former Buffalo Bill, Shawn Merriman was awarded a $3.7 million judgment against Laettner and Brian Davis over a failed real estate investment. Laettner has also been sued by Fannie Mae, Chevron Inc, a former Duke Law professor and former Duke Captain Johnny Dawkins. All told, the lawsuits against Laettner for unpaid loans total more than $44 million, including those listed in the aforementioned involuntary bankruptcy.
Mr. Laettner has 20 days from the filing of the above referenced involuntary bankruptcy petition to respond. If he does not respond within 20 days, the Bankruptcy Court will allow the bankruptcy and Mr. Laettner will have no choice but to participate. Please check back as I will continue to follow this and post updates. Today is the last day Mr. Laettner has to file his response.
Don Lawson is the Office Manager of the Bond & Botes Law Offices location in Knoxville, Tennessee. He holds degrees in both Accounting and Finance that he’s put to use analyzing complex business bankruptcy cases for the firm. Read his full bio here.