Charlotte Bankruptcy Lawyer Bryan W. Stone of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “Are my 401k and IRA protected in bankruptcy?”
If you thought becoming a best-selling author would end your money troubles, ask Zane. The 47-year-old best-selling author and Washington, D.C.-native is now known as Maryland’s worst tax cheat.
The State of Maryland says Zane—whose real name is Kristina Laferne Roberts—is the Old Line State’s top tax cheat. Maryland’s Comptroller, Peter Franchot, said in January that the author owes the state $341,000 in back taxes. The state has been trying to collect taxes from her since 2003. The federal Internal Revenue Service said in court filings in 2010 that Zane owed some $541,000 in federal income taxes.
The Treasury Department placed a tax lien on Zane’s house in 2010, when the author faced foreclosure after falling 79 days behind on her mortgage payment. Zane eventually settled the foreclosure case and kept her home.
She did not leave financial troubles behind, however, as the Washington Post reports. In June, the author filed for bankruptcy in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Maryland, listing assets of $1.4 million and some $3.4 million in liabilities.
Zane is the author of more than 30 books, including her most popular selection, Addicted. A feature film based on that book opened in theaters this past weekend. Zane declined to comment on her financial woes during television appearances to promote the movie.
In addition to her books, Zane is a well-known businesswomen and publishes books through her own Atria Books/Simon & Schuster imprint, Strebor Books. She has also produced two Cinemax television series, “Zane’s Sex Chronicles” and “Zane’s The Jump off.”
Zane first got into writing in the 1990s, she said, while living in North Carolina and working as a research assistant for her father, who taught at Duke’s Divinity School in Durham. She founded Strebor in 1999 and self-published her books. Simon & Schuster acquired Strebor in 2005.
In a 2010 interview, Zane said she tries to create characters who are “flawed… dealing with real-world issues.” To some degree, she said, her characters reflect parts of her personality. Despite writing stories and novels that are described as “erotic,” Zane reportedly lives a tame, suburban life and is guarded about her privacy.
As a public figure who has shunned the spotlight, Zane may not be comfortable having her financial woes broadcast along with reviews and promotions for Addicted. While her publishing feats leave her all but peerless, Zane can perhaps take comfort in knowing she is far from alone in having to declare bankruptcy. Over a million people declare bankruptcy in the United States each year, and the rich nor the famous are immune from it.
If you find yourself needing the services of a 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 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.
Photo by Jorge Royan
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