Jeffrey M. Rosenblum, P.C.
A Fresh Start

American Chopper star sells New York home amid Chapter 13

Last year, it appeared that the star of the television show American Chopper could lose his multimillion-dollar Montgomery, New York, home to foreclosure amid his bankruptcy because he had defaulted on his mortgage. However, Paul Teutul Sr. has been able to sell the home.

A judge approved the $1.5 sale of the 3,400-plus square-foot home. That's about half the price he was asking for it almost two years ago. That sale price includes some farm animals as well as various tools and equipment.

In his Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing last year, Teutel told a New York court that his debts totaled over $1 million, while his assets totaled just over $1.8 million. With a Chapter 13 filing, he would be able to keep some of those assets as he restructured his debt.

In his filing, the American Chopper star listed the value of his custom motorcycle business, Orange County Choppers, as $0. He claimed that he'd earned only $10,000 in the past year. He said that he had less than $1,000 in cash and checking account balances.

The 70-year-old's bankruptcy hasn't gone smoothly. This month, a federal judge found Teutel to be in contempt of court for failing to pay a $17,000 bill to a company that did some work for him despite a settlement deal he'd reached with that creditor.

American Chopper is expected to be revived by the Discovery Channel, with new episodes airing later this year. That and the sale of the mansion should put Teutel in better shape financially than he has been in recent years.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy can be the best solution for people who have income and/or assets but still find themselves mired in debt. However, it's essential to abide by the terms of the bankruptcy filing and agreements made with creditors. It's also important to remember that a Chapter 13 filing won't necessarily save your home.

By working with an experienced bankruptcy attorney and following their guidance, you can emerge from Chapter 13 bankruptcy and begin to rebuild your credit and your financial standing.

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