Whether you want to or not, you are probably going to learn Casey Anthony’s life story soon. It will be for sale – auctioned to the highest bidder. This is not her decision, and she will not profit from it. This is being done by her court-appointed bankruptcy trustee, and the money will go to pay her debts.
Casey Anthony, who was tried and acquitted of murdering her 2-year-old daughter in a case that gripped the nation in 2011, filed for chapter 7 bankruptcy last year. She claimed she was unemployed and had no assets. She listed a ton of debt, including $500,000 she owes her lawyer for her criminal defense. She was probably just hoping to wipe the slate clean and start over. That is what usually happens in a chapter 7 bankruptcy.
But Casey Anthony’s court-appointed trustee filed a motion to sell her life story to the highest bidder. He considers it an “asset” in her case. Now she is on the front page again. The trustee’s phone is probably ringing off the hook. A hearing will be held April 9, and the Bankruptcy Court will probably order this “asset” auctioned off to raise money to pay debts. It will probably be a zoo, as Casey hasn’t really been seen in public since the verdict.
When you file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy you need to list all of your assets and debts. The Court appoints a Trustee for your case who will look to see if you have any non-exempt assets he or she can sell to pay your debts. If the asset is not protected by a legal exemption, the Trustee sells the asset and pays your creditors.
If you have no assets, the Trustee gets a nominal fee – $60 in Maryland. But they can make money on the rare asset case, by getting a commission. So Casey Anthony’s Trustee not only has a duty to auction off her life story to pay her debts – he is going to get paid himself.
If you are going keep an asset you must list it as “exempt”, and you must continue to pay for it. This means you do get to keep some of your personal assets even in a chapter 7 bankruptcy. Some of Maryland’s exemptions include clothing, household goods, furnishings, appliances, books, and pets – up to $1,000 total value. Also, you can exempt personal property up to $5,000 total value, and $6,000 in cash or any type of property.
Each state has a different list of exemptions. In Oklahoma, you can add books, portraits, pictures, food to last one year, 2 bridles and 2 saddles, 100 chickens, 20 sheep, 10 hogs, 5 cows, 2 horses, and a partridge in a pear tree.
Florida doesn’t allow an exemption for “life story of an accused murderer” as an exempt asset, so Casey’s life story goes on the auction block.
How much will Casey Anthony’s Trustee make in her case? In a case under chapter 7 or 11, the court may allow reasonable compensation for the trustee’s services, payable after the trustee renders such services, not to exceed 25 percent on the first $5,000 or less, 10 percent on any amount in excess of $5,000 but not in excess of $50,000, 5 percent on any amount in excess of $50,000 but not in excess of $1,000,000, and reasonable compensation not to exceed 3 percent of such moneys in excess of $1,000,000, upon all moneys disbursed or turned over in the case by the trustee to parties in interest, excluding the debtor, but including holders of secured claims.
That is straight from the statute. Could you tell?