Famous Actor’s Ex-Wife Denied Bankruptcy Protection
Jean Claude van Damme was a leading action hero in the 1990s whose credits include Bloodsport, Sudden Death, and Timecop. For a few years in the 1990s he was also married to Darcy LaPier, a model.
According to Radar Online, Ms. LaPier has attempted to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection. With a Chapter 7, LaPier would immediately benefit from the automatic stay, which would halt any action taken by a creditor to recover a debt. She would also be able to wipe out (discharge) her unsecured debts, such as personal loans and credit cards.
However, Ms. LaPier’s lavish lifestyle has caused the bankruptcy trustee to go on the record opposing her attempt to seek Chapter 7 discharge. This is quite unusual but instructive for those seeking bankruptcy protection.
Money that Apparently Just Disappeared
In a court filing, the bankruptcy trustee who oversees the case laid out a devastating indictment of LaPier’s alleged financial woes. According to the trustee:
- LaPier did not disclose that she received about $500,00 in transfers from one of her ex-husbands, Ron Rice.
- LaPier appeared on the reality TV show Rodeo Girls, where she sported an expensive lifestyle that included raising horses and travelling the globe.
- LaPier transferred her home and all its possessions to someone close to her when she was insolvent.
- LaPier could not get a bank statement for an account, although she received a statement for other accounts held at the same bank!
- Millions of dollars of assets disappeared, and LaPier does not know where the money went.
Furthermore, the trustee alleges that LaPier’s actions extend back about a decade, meaning she has been spending large sums of money while freezing out creditors since at least 2008. If half of what the trustee alleges is true, then Ms. LaPier has probably committed fraud and she does not deserve bankruptcy protection.
Filing for Bankruptcy the Right Way
This story is a timely reminder that the trustee does not simply rubberstamp a debtor’s application for bankruptcy but instead takes a close look to make sure that you have not been hiding assets, wasting money, and defrauding creditors.
To make sure everything goes smoothly, you should not do anything that is suspicious in the run up to your bankruptcy. For example, transferring property to someone close to you might sound like a good idea to keep your property aware from the trustee, but it qualifies as fraud in most situations.
You also should not run up bills once you realize that you are facing financial difficulty. Any expensive trips, jewelry, etc. will tickle the trustee’s antennae. Bankruptcy provides a fresh start to those who find themselves in financial dire straits, but it will not reward people who have behaved irresponsibly.
Speak with a Bankruptcy Attorney in South Florida
If you suspect that you need to file for bankruptcy, you can meet with an attorney to discuss your case. At Nowack & Olson, our Plantation Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyers have helped thousands of debtors in South Florida receive a successful discharge, and we are eager to assist you as well. To speak with one of our lawyers, please call 888-813-4737 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.