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Singer Dionne Warwick files for Chapter 7 bankruptcy

For many South Carolina residents, the decision to seek bankruptcy protection is a difficult one. Some postpone filing for many years, as their financial situation continues to worsen. There can be a strong reluctance to move forward with a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing, as many consumers associate bankruptcy with failure. In some cases, the filing of a celebrity can help a consumer realize that virtually anyone can find themselves in need of bankruptcy protection.

The recent Chapter 7 bankruptcy of legendary singer Dionne Warwick may provide a strong example. Despite having a successful career spanning more than five decades and receiving many accolades, Warwick recently filed for bankruptcy protection. This choice sends a loud and clear message that bankruptcy and success are not mutually exclusive, and that circumstances outside one's control can lead to the need to file.

Many of Warwick's financial woes stem from the mismanagement of her finances by a former business manager. She accrued a sizable tax debt over the years, and her efforts to reach an agreement with the IRS to handle that debt were not successful. In total, she reportedly paid nearly $1.3 million in her efforts to arrange a repayment plan for a tax debt of $10 million.

By filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, Warwick will be able to discharge a portion of her unsecured debt. In addition, her pension earned as a member of the labor union SAG-AFTRA will be protected, as will the majority of her other assets. She will be able to move forward with her new recording project and other endeavors free from much of the debt that has plagued her for years, which is a benefit that has no price. Bankruptcy can offer similar benefits to South Carolina residents struggling with their own debt issues.

Source: bet.com, "Dionne Warwick Files for Bankruptcy," Sia Barnes, March 26, 2013

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