When we hear the name F. Lee Bailey, we think of wealth and fame. However, all that wealth and fame and yet we see his reported bankruptcy filings (both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcies).
First Bankruptcy Filing Chapter 7 – F. Lee Bailey
His Chapter 7 Bankruptcy (Case #16-20375) was filed on June 24th, 2016 in Portland Maine. Interesting items included in his bankruptcy petition.
- Car worth less than $2,000 – 2001 Mercedes Benz – 170K miles,
- Personal property worth less than $5,000 which included: house goods and electronics $4,140.00, clothing $500.00, 2 pistols worth $50 each, watches (Breitling and Cartier) and miscellaneous jewelry worth $1,500.
- Bank Accounts: $83.00 in cash; Checking Account consisting of $553.26
- Condominium with a $365,000 outstanding mortgage.
- Debts to the Internal Revenue Service of over $5 million. This debt was derived from his failure to report income on sales of stock.
However, he kept his pension (unknown amount). In Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, he could keep his several pension accounts.
It is interesting that he had no credit card debts.
Only two unsecured creditors: 3rd Party Loan of $40,000.00 and one other debt which was a medical collection debt of $57.00.
He was able to keep his royalty income of $3,300 per month from Thompson West. This was due to his authorship of several publications. This bankruptcy was successful and was discharged in October 5, 2016.
There was no need for bankruptcy protection of his assets since he had little if any assets at that time.
Second Bankruptcy Filing – Chapter 13
On June 26, 2017, Bailey filed a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Maine. This was an extremely complicated case. Unfortunately, Mr. Bailey died before he completed this case.
Bailey’s famous cases include:
- Former football running back O.J. Simpson,
- Newspaper heiress Patty Hearst,
- Osteopath Dr. Sam Sheppard of Ohio,
- Confessed Boston strangler Albert DeSalvo
- Army commander at the My Lai Massacre in Vietnam.
He was famous for taking on clients that were the demons of society,” according to the Washington Post. I guess the demons got him in the end.
Bailey was disbarred in Florida in 2001. Shortly afterward, he was disbarred Massachusetts.
He tried to get his law license in 2014 in Maine. Maine’s Supreme Judicial Court turned down Bailey’s request. His IRS debt precluded him from regaining his law license.
Lee attended Harvard University for two years, became a jet fighter pilot, briefly returned to Harvard and then was admitted to Boston University’s law school. He didn’t complete his undergraduate education before his law school admission. He managed to graduate at the top of his law school class in 1960.
Before his death, Bailey ran a consulting business and lived with the operator of a hair salon. He was married four times.
Filing bankruptcy is not uncommon to the rich and famous. We see that even a prominent lawyer needed to file for Chapter 7 and then Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection.
If you are having financial difficulties, remember you are not alone.
I offer a free bankruptcy consultation. Bankruptcy help is available. Call me today, Ralph A. Ferro, Jr., Esq. – Expert in bankruptcy law.