Finding Success After Bankruptcy

At Moran Law, we adamantly believe that bankruptcy is nothing shameful, but the chance for a fresh start- a golden opportunity to start fresh. Many successful celebrities and entrepreneurs have filed bankruptcy, only to bounce back to become more successful than ever. Below, read about famous bankruptcy cases and know you're in good company.

Donald Trump

Donald Trump, widely regarded as one of the most successful businessmen of all time, has filed for corporate bankruptcy four times, in 1991, 1992, 2001 and 2004.

He regards Chapter 11 bankruptcy as a tool that many "great entrepreneurs" have used to restructure and reshape companies. Chapter 11 allows the business to remain active, and to emerge from bankruptcy stronger than ever before.

Today, Donald Trump is wildly successful in many different industries, including real estate, hospitality, and entertainment. His net worth is estimated to be anywhere from $2.9 billion to $7 billion.


Generally considered to be one of the greatest painters and printmakers in European art, this master painter of the Dutch Golden Age was a lavish spender and irrational investor. His fame grew while his personal funds dwindled, despite the high prices he commanded for his works.

His works were purchased less and less as Rembrandt's students began to turn out works in similar styles to his work, but at more accessible price points. Rembrandt lived well beyond his means, purchasing a large townhouse in Amsterdam, was an avid art collector (even repurchasing his own works in a misguided attempt to make them more scarce and valuable), and borrowed money from elsewhere when creditors came knocking. He applied to the High Court in The Hague for cession bonorum (bankruptcy) in July of 1656 and his belongings were sold at auction. The total sum his assets brought in was far below the amount of his debt.

Today, Rembrandt's works are displayed globally in some of the world's most highly regarded museums. His townhouse in Amsterdam is now the Rembrandt House Museum, which has been reconstructed to look as it did when he lived and painted there, down to recreations of the belongings that were auctioned off to pay his debts.

Francis Ford Coppola

Perhaps the most prominent filmmaker of the 1970's, Coppola is widely considered to be one of the top directors of all time. Though he has directed, written, and produced many films up to the present day, he is most lauded for his work in the 1970's, which includes Patton, The Godfather, and Apocalypse Now. With four Academy Awards and three Golden Globes, he is certainly a very decorated and appreciated filmmaker who clearly has a great talent.

However, despite his incredible achievements in the industry of film, Coppola filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 1983 and again in 1990.

Today, Francis Ford Coppola owns a successful winery, motion picture production studio, anda lifestyle brand called Francis Ford Coppola Presents, which includes several hotels and resorts, as well as a restaurant.


These examples should help you begin to think of bankruptcy as a chance to start fresh and build a healthy financial future for yourself. Never feel embarrassed or ashamed- it's been said that if you haven't gone bankrupt, you aren't a true entrepreneur. Everybody makes mistakes, but these three cases prove that you can learn from them and bounce back more successful than ever.

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