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Nowack & Olson, PLLC Florida Bankruptcy Lawyer
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Uber Executive Files for Bankruptcy


Bankruptcy is not only for the working- and middle-classes. Instead, almost anyone can find themselves under so much financial distress that filing for bankruptcy protection is the sensible option. Sometimes even the very rich need to file.

Yahoo Finance has the story of an Uber executive that recently filed for bankruptcy after being ordered to pay Google almost $180 million dollars. Uber is the popular ridesharing app that has revolutionized the way people get around town. You would think that an executive at such a company would have the financial resources to pay his debts, but this latest court order to pay Google proved too much.

High Assets—But High Debts, as Well

The executive was Anthony Levandowski, who served as the head of Uber Technologies Inc.’s self-driving division. He was in arbitration with Uber over whether he engaged in unfair competition and broke his contract with Google. According to CNN, he was accused of downloading confidential files to a hard drive before pulling up stakes and leaving.

Mr. Levandowski and a colleague left Google and started their own company, which was eventually bought by Uber. His colleague settled with Google for $9.7 million. The $179 million Levandowski was ordered to pay included over $50 million in interest and legal fees.

Bankruptcy records show that he had assets in the amount of $50-100 million—not bad at all. But his liabilities totaled $100-500 million. Mr. Levandowski’s assets were so large that he had to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, which is usually reserved for businesses, but high net-worth individuals with huge debts might qualify.

The bankruptcy is only one legal issue for this debtor. He is also facing a federal indictment related to his work, which unfortunately he cannot get dismissed using a bankruptcy filing.

What if Chapter 11 Isn’t an Option

Very few of our individual clients need to file for Chapter 11. Instead, they will need to choose between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. These are very different options for people. A Chapter 7 can quickly wipe out a lot of debts in a matter of months, principally credit card debt, medical debt, and some personal loans. A Chapter 13, by contrast, consists of a repayment plan that a person must follow for several years before any unpaid debt gets discharged at the very end.

Which option is best for you? You should meet with an attorney to review your financial situation. To file for Chapter 13, you will need regular income. Given the length of time it takes to make payments and work through a plan, Chapter 13 is rarely ideal for most of our clients, but you should get an individualized assessment. High income individuals should also discuss their options with an attorney, since there are debt limits to a Chapter 13.

Contact Nowack & Olson for a Free Case Evaluation

We are a leading bankruptcy firm in South Florida with offices in Miami, Boca Raton, Plantation, and Jupiter. Our Plantation bankruptcy attorneys offer a free consultation to debtors, which they can schedule by calling 888-813-4737 or sending us an online message.


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