Even U.S. Presidents Have to File for Bankruptcy Sometimes

It’s true that financial difficulties can happen to anyone – even United States Presidents.  Four U.S. presidents have been forced to file for bankruptcy protection.

Abraham Lincoln – As a result of a failed business venture and the death of his business partner, Lincoln was forced to seek bankruptcy protection.  Prior to filing bankruptcy, Lincoln’s creditors had seized his horse and some surveying equipment that he owned. In an effort to stop the collection activity, Lincoln filed bankruptcy. At that time, there was no time limit for the repayment of debts.  It took Lincoln approximately 17 years to pay back his creditors. Bankruptcy repayment plans today cannot exceed 5 years.

Thomas Jefferson – Spending most of his life in debt, Jefferson faced personal bankruptcy on several occasions.  Historian Herbert Sloan’s research has shown that Jefferson was deeply in debt for almost a half-century. Thomas Jefferson spent his thirties until his eighties in debt.  When he died, Jefferson still owed more than $100,000 in debt.

Ulysses S. Grant – Although serving as a general and President of the United States, Grant never earned a lot of money.  After leaving office, Grant and his wife travelled extensively and often lived beyond their means.  This, however, was only a small part of Grant’s financial problems.  Like Lincoln, Grant’s bankruptcy was a result of a failed business venture.  Grant had invested money with Ferdinand Ward, a friend of Grant’s son. As a result of the failed business partnership, Ward was sent to prison and Grant was forced into personal bankruptcy due to the hundreds of thousands that he was left to pay upon the closure of the business.

William McKinley -  During most of his life, President McKinley was considered financially stable.  However, as with Lincoln and Grant, a failed business venture caused McKinley’s financial world to be turned upside down. McKinley had invested in the business of a friend.  This tin plate business failed during the depression of 1893. Finding himself with debts approaching $130,000, McKinley filed for bankruptcy.  With the help of friends, McKinley was able to prevent the sale of his assets and repaid the debt.

At Seymour & Associates, we have filed over 8,000 bankruptcies.  While we have never represented a President, we have helped people from all walks of life!  We can help you, too.  Call us today at (706) 872-7117 for a Free Consultation with an experienced bankruptcy attorney.  We invite you to compare our costs, our compassion and our commitment to any other lawyer in the CSRA. Experience the Seymour difference today!