Actress Files Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Over Tax Debts

Charlotte Bankruptcy attorney Bryan W. Stone answers the question: “What are my alternatives to bankruptcy?”


Former star of “Meet the Parents” and “West Wing” Teri Polo has announced that tax troubles have led to some seriously hard financial times. According to recent documents filed in a California bankruptcy court, the actress is seeking bankruptcy protection for nearly a million dollars in debt.


Calculator 1 Charlotte Bankruptcy Lawyer North Carolina Tax Debt AttorneyTeri filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy this past week, listing her liabilities at more than $770,000 in back taxes and $36,000 in credit card debts. Interestingly, Teri says that she is also being sued for more than $30,000 by her former landlord who claims the actress destroyed her apartment by leaving it full of large amounts of animal feces.


As Teri’s case illustrates, it is possible to discharge some tax debts in bankruptcy. Usually, older income tax debts are dischargeable, specifically those that were due at least three years ago. To be discharged, the return must usually be filed at least two years ago and the IRS must have first assessed the debt at least 240 days ago. Tax debts are also only dischargeable if the person seeking the discharge did not commit tax fraud or evasion.


And what happens if your tax debts are not dischargeable? If you’ve filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy then you should understand that the debts will be waiting on you when you have emerged from the bankruptcy. The only relief for a Chapter 7 will occur during the automatic stay period when all collectors are required to cease their efforts. Once the bankruptcy is done, usually only a few months later, the IRS will begin its pursuits again.


If you’ve filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection there are more options to restructure your IRS debt. Though non-dischargeable debts won’t be wiped out at the end of the repayment period, they can be paid off over the three to five year period where your bankruptcy case is active.


In this case, with a Chapter 11, it functions in much the same way as a Chapter 13 bankruptcy and allows the debtor to restructure payments without a limit on the amount of money owed. Companies, as well as individuals with especially large amounts of debt, often use Chapter 11 as their preferred means of securing bankruptcy protection.


If you find yourself needing the services of a Charlotte, North Carolina bankruptcy attorney, please call the skilled lawyers at Arnold & Smith, PLLC today at (704) 370-2828 or find more resources here. As professionals who are experienced in the bankruptcy arena, our attorneys will provide you with the best advice for your particular situation.


About The Author: 

Bryan 1  Bryan Stone is a Partner with Arnold & Smith, PLLC where he focuses his practice on all aspects of bankruptcy, including: Chapter 7, Chapter 11, Chapter 13, home loan modifications and landlord tenant issues.  Originally from Macon Georgia, Mr. Stone attended the University of Georgia for a BBA in Banking and Finance and went on to Wake Forest to earn his law degree.  After law school Mr. Stone relocated to Charlotte where he has become quite involved in many local organizations.  He is currently the Chair of “Bravo!” the young professionals organization of Opera Carolina, he also founded the UGA Alumni Association of Charlotte.  In his spare time he enjoys perfecting his BBQ skills for the annual “Q-City BBQ Championships” and playing softball with the Mecklenburg County Bar Softball League.



“Teri Polo, ‘Meet the Parents’ actress, files for bankruptcy,” by Veronica Linares, published at



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