1970s Teen Idol Files for Bankruptcy Protection

Is it hard to file bankruptcy? You bet.

Is it hard to file bankruptcy when you have sold of 30 million records?
Or starred on a hit television show?
Or been a teen heartthrob?
Or been featured in books, magazines, trading cards, and lunch boxes?

Oh, yeah.

David Cassidy, former teen idol and star of the ‘70s TV series “The Partridge Family,” recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Cassidy, now 64, filed bankruptcy in Florida and reportedly owes hundreds of thousands of dollars to various creditors, including $292,598 to Well Fargo, $21,952 to American Express and $17,150 to Citi. Cassidy experienced numerous legal difficulties in recent years including substance abuse issues, three DUI arrests in less than four years, an on-going divorce, and a lawsuit against Sony Pictures Television, Inc which he was awarded a disappointing $157,964.84. The lawsuit sought millions to compensate Cassidy for use of his image on “Partridge Family” merchandise. This merchandise reportedly generated nearly $500 million for the defendants over the past four decades, but Cassidy claimed he was only paid $5,000.

On February 12, 2015, Cassidy announced his bankruptcy filing on his website, DavidCassidy.com. Cassidy said, “I am going through bankruptcy proceedings at the moment. I wanted to let you know personally. This is necessary for practical reasons to reorganize my life as I go through divorce and to restructure my finances.”

Chapter 11 bankruptcy is often filed by corporations, but is available to individuals seeking to reorganize with high debts or complex finances. Typically, debtors seeking to restructure and not liquidate their assets through Chapter 7 will file Chapter 13 bankruptcy. However, the Bankruptcy Code restricts Chapter 13 debtors to debt limits of $383,175 in total unsecured debts and $1,149,525 in secured debts. An individual who exceeds one of those debt limits is disqualified from filing Chapter 13, but can file under Chapter 11.