Many people who struggle with debt avoid filing for bankruptcy because of the associated stigma. In fact, bankruptcy provides a chance to clear or reorganize debts and begin on a clean financial slate.
These seven well-known individuals are prime examples of the opportunity to succeed and thrive after bankruptcy.
The world-famous actress filed for bankruptcy in 1993, when she was already renowned for starring in movies like Batman and The Natural. After quitting a movie, she lost a breach of contract lawsuit that led to insolvency. Basinger took a short break from her career before winning a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her 1997 role in L.A. Confidential.
Although his name is synonymous with chocolate today, Milton Hershey was less successful in the early days of his business. He went bankrupt in 1882 and lost his first candy store in Philadelphia. While Hershey had a second failed venture in New York City, he then founded the successful Lancaster Caramel Company, which he sold for $1 million in 1900 before turning to the sweet that made him famous.
After winning the world heavyweight boxing title in 1973, Foreman became a minister and focused on helping troubled youth. Unfortunately, his career change led to bankruptcy in 1983 when he could no longer pay his debts. Foreman returned to boxing in 1983 to fund his youth center, then became an entrepreneur with the George Foreman Grill, which sold over 100 million units worldwide by 2009.
He may be the father of modern animation, but Walt Disney’s bankruptcy cost him his first movie studio. Laugh-O-Gram closed in 1923, just a year after it opened, after a bad deal with an unscrupulous distributor. Thankfully, we all know that Disney went on to unprecedented success after this early setback.
An expensive divorce was the catalyst for the silver screen star’s 1996 bankruptcy. Although he owned several homes and led a lavish lifestyle, he had more than $10 million in debt after splitting from Loni Anderson. The following year, he rejuvenated his career with a Golden Globe Award for Boogie Nights.
Despite his status as one of the best-selling and most respected music artists of the 1970s, Elton John filed for bankruptcy in 2002 to settle debts on his several properties. John recovered with a lucrative three-year contract with Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.
You may know Lauper for hits like “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” but a less successful music endeavor in 1981 led the singer to file for bankruptcy. Luckily, Lauper released “She’s So Unusual” in 1983 and the rest is history.
While filing for bankruptcy can be a temporary setback, it often results in the opportunity to move forward without the burden of unpayable debts.