August 2, 2012
By John Clark
A formerly wealthy couple in Indianapolis that has operated more than 25 different companies is filing for personal bankruptcy this week in order to shed $18.5 million in debt, according to a report from the Indianapolis Business Journal.
Sources say that Bradley and Michele Snyder are filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Indianapolis in order to tackle their massive amount of debt, which reportedly includes unpaid business loans and mortgages for vacation homes in Wyoming and Florida.
According to court documents, the couple owns several businesses, including a publishing company and a small communications firm. One of the companies, Bellwether Inc., is currently carrying $3.6 million in debt, almost half of which is due to a delinquent loan that has yet to be repaid to the U.S. Small Business Administration.
The recent economic recession struck small businesses particularly hard, as many family-owned firms lacked the resources to weather the fiscal storm, and the Snyders provide a good example of the perils of owning several small businesses in 2012.
Of course, the Snyders aren’t entirely sympathetic filers, as sources also note that they are currently facing a wave of lawsuits due to their allegedly corrupt bankruptcy counseling programs.
The couple apparently owned a number of businesses that purported to offer help to people in debt. These companies operated under names like Chapter 20 Publishing, Consumer Disclosure Mortgage, and Life After Bankruptcy.
According to sources, almost two dozen lawsuits have been filed against the Snyders by former customers looking to retrieve the money they spent on allegedly fraudulent bankruptcy counseling services.
Bankruptcy fraud is a very real phenomenon, and filers should also be sure that they are dealing with licensed attorneys when seeking bankruptcy information.
Sources also say that the couple’s debt is widespread, and reflects their lavish spending. Their debt includes $9 million in unpaid mortgage bills, including debt owed on a home in Bonita Springs, Florida, and a home in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
Shockingly, the couple also owes almost $1 million in credit card debt to several major banks, including Chase, Citibank, Fifth Third Bank, and PNC.
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