For months, people on social media have mentioned that Nashville Bike Week’s end game would be bankruptcy, and yesterday, that threat was made. My inbox has been exploding since then, so let’s clear this up. And for the record, I have been practicing bankruptcy law for almost 18 years. It’s actually a majority of my practice and I have represented hundreds and hundreds of debtors.
First and foremost, if you file for bankruptcy, you have to attend a 341 Meeting of Creditors. The hearing will most likely be held at a federal courthouse if jurisdiction lies within a large city/district. Any creditor is allowed to attend the hearing and make their appearance. Thus, even if you listed your Aunt Bea as a creditor for the $20 she loaned you, she has the right to attend the hearing and ask you questions.
Because the hearing is held in a federal building, if you have five pending arrest warrants, that is the last place you wish to be. Trust me, security is tight at a federal building. How tight? After 18 years, the 8 security guards at the entrance know me, greet me hello, and still make me show them my I.D., take off my belt, shoes, etc… Because they know me, if I am hanging out in front of the building, no one bothers me other than to say hello, but if they don’t know you, hang out in front of a federal building and see what happens. If you really want to have fun, when they ask you “how can I help you” or “what you are doing,” reply with “I just like to hang out in front of federal buildings.” Even though it is a public place, good luck!
Now, if you are facing jail time on 5 warrants, why would you even bother with bankruptcy? The short answer is that is another weak attempt to intimidate. Just see the screen shot below. To be clear- stalker interference of contracts is completely, a 100% made up term. Yet again, we have all seen the threats of lawsuits for years from Mike Leffingwell and the “supposedly” dozens of lawsuits he has filed regarding NBW, not to mention the “supposed” court orders he has preventing anyone from attending the event if they “liked” the Scam Page. As of lately, he has even posted that the First Amendment has changed “a lot,” apparently in reference to the Mass Gathering Permit which he calls the Mass Gathering Ordinance. He has even posted that the state of Tennessee has a law that you cannot attend an event if you slandered the event. I’m tired of posting the correct term is libel which is written versus slander that is verbal.
Moving on, the debt of $249,000 that is owed to NASCAR by Mike Leffingwell, cannot be wiped out with a bankruptcy. So if you still owe $249,000 after filing for bankruptcy, then why even bother? Years ago I saw an interview on Larry King Live with Willie Nelson and one topic of conversation was his IRS debt. The red-headed stranger told King he wasn’t worried about owing the IRS $16 million because he didn’t have $16 million. He said if he didn’t have the money, then the IRS had a problem. If he had the money, then he had a problem. Gotta love Willie.
The only likely creditors at this point are all the banks that are out of the money from the $50,000 + in refunds received thanks to the many, many, many, and did I mention many people running the Unofficial: Nashville Bike Week Scam Page ;). I said many, right?
Now, besides the fact that you have to put your name on any court document, that begs the question- which name? Axel? Axle? Leffingwell? I know Nashville Bike Week will say the business is filing for bankruptcy, not the individual. Well, Axel, Axle, Leffingwell is the sole owner of Nashville Bike Week, so it is the same thing. Me, myself, and I does not equal a 1/3 share of the business except from a narcissistic point of view.
Fact is the individual owes the money, not the corporation. Yes, I have clients say all the time, “they can’t touch me, it’s the business, not me.” I suggest you read the fine print. The loan was based on the individual’s credit history, not the corporation opened up five minutes ago. Plus, within the fine print, you will see written that the “individual is personally liable.” That is why an honest lawyer will advise his client to not file a business and personal bankruptcy, just file a personal bankruptcy and shut down the business and save the client the expense of attorney’s fees/costs for a second bankruptcy case. In the future, open another business and you’re all good.
Now, with a large corporation, that is different; think President Donald Trump. His businesses have filed for bankruptcy, however, he never has personally. That is the difference between a large corporation and a one man show. In a one man show it is easy to “pierce the corporate veil.” Basically, legal talk for saying the business and the individual are the same thing. If you co-mingle business and personal funds, which small businesses do all the time, you just “pierced the corporate veil.”
Now, how it works in the real world is simple- the court forces an involuntary bankruptcy as is happening now with Bernie Madoff. The trustee’s job is to obtain assets through lawsuits and then auction off those assets to pay off creditors and victims. So, if a motorcycle is purchased with funds of a scam and that individual gives the motorcycle to a family member, guess what? The Trustee will be taking back that motorcycle. Let’s say you are not related by blood to Mike Leffingwell, but instead won a prize. The Trustee in legal theory could take back the prize as well. You do have the option of objecting to the Trustee’s legal opinion in federal court, but that is not a very smart move considering the trustee’s office is very powerful and works under the auspices of the U.S. Attorney’s Office. So, if the trustee wants your Yeti cooler, they will get it. As a matter of fact, Google auction services for Trustees. There you can see all types of items being sold that trustee’s have obtained from the bankruptcy estate. The proceeds, after the trustee gets their cut, is used to pay back creditors and victims. Again, this same exact scenario is being played out right now with Bernie Madoff.
Besides all this, there exists the simple law that you cannot profit from your crimes commonly known as the Son of Sam law, named after murderer David Berkowitz. With few exceptions depending on the jurisdiction, the law does have allowable exemptions. It doesn’t mean like clients say; “I have no money,” but they have $5000.00 in their bank account. You can still file for bankruptcy, but you are losing the $5,000.00 which is used to pay creditors a portion thereof.
As the saga continues, enjoy your Memorial Weekend.
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