Former Detroit Piston File Bankruptcy

Former Detroit Piston Derrick Coleman filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy with $4.7 million in debts and a little over $1 million in assets.

Coleman, whose 15-year NBA career ended with the Pistons in 2005, had interests in a wide range of real estate, retail and restaurant companies. His interests included a stake in Detroit’s Sweet Georgia Brown restaurant, which closed in February, and franchises in Hungry Howie’s pizza and Tim Hortons doughnuts.

Coleman filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy March 2. He lists a $50,000 debt to Detroit Mayor Dave Bing — also a former Pistons great — among his unsecured, non-priority debts. In a filing Wednesday, in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Detroit, Coleman lists assets including a 1997 Bentley convertible worth $50,000; two chinchilla and three mink fur coats worth a total of $15,000; and $3,000 worth of jewelry.

Coleman hopes that his Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing will allow him to not only keep his Beverly Hills home which is worth $168,000; but also his mother’s home which is also in Beverly Hills but worth about $191,000.  He has expressed a willingness to surrender a condo and another property during the bankruptcy which could possibly be liquidated for repaying creditors. And while creditors will be more than willing to liquidate property for repayment, it is likely they will challenge the former basketball player’s desire to maintain his mother’s home.  Previous bankruptcy cases have proven that bankruptcy trustees are reluctant to allow debtors to maintain the homes of relatives while creditors go unpaid.  Although under certain circumstances the bankruptcy trustee may allow the debtor to continue maintaining the property of a relative especially if the debtor is taking care of an ill or very elderly parent living in the home.  However, even under those circumstances, it is not guaranteed.

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