Ralph Roberts, a prominent metro Detroit real estate broker and author has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection from creditors including his own mother. The 55-year-old author of real estate books such as "Foreclosure Self-Defense for Dummies" and "Walk Like a Giant, Sell Like a Madman," officially filed for bankruptcy this past May in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Detroit.
Roberts listed his personal property including an 11 foot long, 250 pound nail that was used by Uniroyal in its big tire on I-94 near Metro Airport. He allegedly purchased the nail for $3,000 on eBay back in 2003. His assets were listed at $1.8 million and his liabilities at $73.2 million in the bankruptcy documents. In a phone interview with the Free Press, Roberts told the interviewer that he had overstated the debt that he owed to a group of investors. He said he owed $6.5 million to a group of 11 investors, not $6.5 million to each person as he had stated in the court documents. His total liabilities are at $8.1 million.
In February of 2011, another group of investors filed a lawsuit to recover their investment in one of Roberts' real estate investments. Roberts' accountant and Roberts' mother declined to be a party to the lawsuit, said Marc Thomas, the Bingham Farms attorney representing the investors. Thomas, the investors' attorney stated his plans to challenge the bankruptcy. The lawsuit was alleging that Roberts was hiding assets and possibly transferring them to his wife in order to avoid paying the investors their share.
According to Roberts' bankruptcy filing, his creditors would each see a share of $1 million dollars over the course of five years. He also filed for bankruptcy protection for Ralph Roberts Realty based out of Sterling Heights where he listed assets of $1.5 million and liabilities of $108,381.98. In these troubling economic times, even prominent real estate brokers and businessmen are turning towards bankruptcy protection to remain afloat. If you are thinking about filing for bankruptcy, a Detroit bankruptcy attorney from the Law Offices of Marshall D. Schultz can explain the benefits of bankruptcy and how filing for bankruptcy works.