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Avoiding “hubris” can help a person or business avoid bankruptcy, jail

Charlotte Bankruptcy Lawyer Bryan W. Stone of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “Will I lose my property if I file for bankruptcy ?”


Clients and potential clients have frequently asked me if there are actions or statements they should be making or taking or refraining from making or taking in their countenanced or pending bankruptcy cases.

Pool Charlotte Debt Lawyer North Carolina Bankruptcy AttorneyIf I could wave a magic wand, I would take clients and potential clients back in time. Of course, many factors—often many factors are working in concert—force debtors into bankruptcy, but oftentimes one of the primary causes of personal and business bankruptcies is the personal decision-making of the debtor. In essence, bad investment choices led to bad returns; poor spending choices led to, well… being fiscally underwater.

Time travel being, even at our relatively developed age of advancement, still a prospect relegated to science fiction, I am stuck with everyone else in the bankruptcy process taking the pieces of what is left of a person’s or a business’s financial life and making sense of it—paying off creditors to the extent possible and even, in the rare case, distributing a remainder to the debtor.

Most debtors have simply fallen on hard times, but not all. Some debtors exhibit a well-known trait that can land people in troubles far worse than bankruptcy. That trait is known as “hubris.”

Hubris is defined generally as possessing “a great or foolish amount of pride or confidence.” Mixing hubris with bankruptcy makes a sour concoction, one so sour that a Montana bankruptcy judge recently sent a debtor to jail over it.

The debtor’s name is Tim Blixseth. He was so rich that, according to the New York Post, he founded an “ultra-rich club” that required a $300,000 entry fee. When he could afford it, he was a member of the club. When things went south for Blixseth financially, he gave up control of the “ultra-rich club” and bought a Mexican resort with money he had allegedly stolen from the “ultra-rich club.”

After Blixseth declared bankruptcy, the bankruptcy court ordered him not to sell the Mexican resort, named Tamarindo. Blixseth, true to form, sold Tamarindo anyway, using the $13.8 million from the sale to “pay for trips to Europe, luxury aircraft and boats, and tens of thousands of dollars in fine wine,” according to Blixseth’s creditors and the Post.

United States District Judge Sam Haddon found Blixseth in contempt of the bankruptcy court’s order not to sell the Tamarindo property. On Monday, he ordered Blixseth “jailed until he provides a full accounting [of the Tamarindo sale] in compliance with three previous court orders.”

For his part, Blixseth’s attorney alleged that Blixseth had “produced every single scrap of paper he was ordered to produce and could produce,” according to the Post. Blixseth’s attorneys planned to file an emergency appeal with the Ninth Circuit United States Court of Appeals seeking to free Blixseth.

If you find yourself needing the services of an experienced Charlotte, North Carolina bankruptcy attorney, please call the skilled lawyers at Arnold & Smith, PLLC find additional resources here. As professionals who are experienced at handling all kinds of bankruptcy matters, our attorneys will provide you with the best advice for your particular situation.



About the Author                                                                                

Bryan 1Bryan 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.

A native of Macon, Georgia, Mr. Stone attended the University of Georgia, where he earned a BBA in Banking and Finance, and Wake Forest University School of Law, where he obtained his law degree.

Following law school, Mr. Stone relocated to Charlotte, where he currently serves as Chair of “Bravo!” – a young professionals organization associated with Opera Carolina – and founded the University of Georgia Alumni Association of Charlotte.

In his spare time, Mr. Stone enjoys perfecting his barbeque skills for the annual “Q-City BBQ Championship” and playing softball in the Mecklenburg County Bar softball league.








Image Credit:

“Casa La Palapa Pool” by Skip81 – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Casa_La_Palapa_Pool.jpg#/media/File:Casa_La_Palapa_Pool.jpg



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