How to bounce back from bankruptcy?
How to bounce back from bankruptcy?

We have all heard the term “bankruptcy” and dreaded it from time to time. But true businessmen know that going broke is a possibility that follows them like a faithful shadow. It is indeed one of those things that happen to someone we know, but never to us. Or we at least hope that it never happens to us!

Being broke was quite a natural thing when we were students. But when the responsibility of a business rests on your shoulders, it is difficult to think of a day when we won’t be able to pay our creditors. However, this is not the kiss of death to your business despite what you may think. We have seen businesses and entrepreneurs bounce back from absolute bankruptcy and find sound financial footing once again.

This is not going to be a horror story of businesses that were wiped out by bankruptcy. This is going to be a story of hope, where a few well-known names managed to bounce back from bankruptcy. Here’s a list of 10 names that will give you the inspiration to bounce back from a sticky financial situation –

  • Henry Ford

Most of us just know him as an inventor and star entrepreneur, but only a handful of business experts know his trysts with debt. Henry Ford was no stranger to bankruptcy, and his company went bankrupt in 1901. This was mainly due to Ford’s perfectionist attitude that brought down the productivity of the entire factory. That year the plant produced only 20 cars, as he was too much into perfecting each design personally. Later in 1901, the company reorganized to form the Henry Ford Company.

Henry Ford finally got things right in 1903 when he established the Ford Motor Company. Coincidentally, he was not the only auto magnate who tasted bankruptcy. William Crapo Durant, the founder of General Motors also went bankrupt. He went from $120 million rich to running a bowling alley in Flint, Michigan in the last few years of his life.

  • Larry King

Before becoming a talk show legend, King was more than $35,000 in debt. He filed for bankruptcy the very same year he started off as a radio show host. Most people know about his rise to fame and his luxurious lifestyle that followed, but very few know about the financial struggle that leads him there.

He filed for bankruptcy in 1978. He finally debuted on CNN in 1985 with Larry King Live. It became one of the longest-running programs on the channel, and Larry King became a legend of modern television and radio in the US.

  • George Foreman

Who knew that after fighting the likes of Mohammed Ali, Foreman would have to fight bankruptcy as well? After his days of boing were over, he retired as a minister and very soon burned through his millions of dollars’ worth savings.

He filed for bankruptcy and then went on to launch kitchen products like the Foreman Grill. The wide range of kitchen products was hugely successful, and just the grill went on to earn him over $200 million by the end of the 90s. According to Foreman himself, “there were months I was paid over $8 million”. This is one rags to riches story everyone must know of.

  • Milton Hershey

We have all tasted the sweet indulgence of Hershey’s Kisses at least once in our lifetime. And that makes it extremely difficult to imagine the founder of Hershey’s nose deep in debt. Milton Hershey surely understood chocolates, but little did he understand the intricacies of successful business.

He never had any formal education but he spent 4 years as an apprentice in a candy shop. After this stint, he opened his own store in 1876 that went under after only 6 years. Following this, he tried peddling candy on the streets of NYC. Sadly, at that time very few people had dreamt of debt consolidation meaning being broke was a lot more difficult than it seems today. However, Hershey rose from that terrible quagmire and founded the super-successful Lancaster Caramel Company in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. In 1990, he sold LCC for a whopping $1 million and undertook the religious task of perfecting the formula for milk chocolate that we find in Hershey’s chocolates today.

  • Donald Trump

The current president of the US has a penchant for controversies. A keen user of “you’re fired!” filed for bankruptcy 4 times!

This should be an inspiring story for all those who are scared or ashamed of filing for bankruptcy. This man runs multiple casinos and hotels in AtlanticCity that sank faster than the Titanic into massive debt. However, right advisors and debt consolidation got him out of the sticky situation straight into the highest chair of the country.

Choosing the right consolidation company based on online debt companies review websites can go a long way to help you out of your financial mess. Donald Trump is a live example of how you can turn your fortune around simply by choosing the right people to guide you through the worst times.

  • H.J. Heinz

We have all tasted the tangy deliciousness of Heinz ketchup, be it with fries or with Mac n Cheese. Nevertheless, did you know that H.J. Heinz had to file for bankruptcy early in 1875? This came after he collaborated with two of his friends to market spicy horseradish variety of Heinz products. However, it definitely was not as spicy and lucrative as the owners had hoped and the business sank into bankruptcy.

In 1876, he went together with his cousin and brother to start anew. The new company specialized in ketchup and was based out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The rest is history.

Until 2016, their annual revenue was more than $10 billion, and that is a true Cinderella story that most struggling entrepreneurs should remember.

  • Burt Reynolds

He was the ruling star of Hollywood back in the 1970s. He was also known for his lavish lifestyle. He owned a ranch in Florida, mansions on both the costs and private choppers to cut the traffic. However, his career decisions were terrible, and he went through his fortunes like a tornado. Reynolds declared Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in 1997. This was one of the worst hits Hollywood heroes had seen in the last couple of decades.

However, it emerged from bankruptcy completely in 1998. He managed to save his Florida ranch and he continued with his luxurious lifestyle well into the 2000s.

While many observers thought that hanging on to a $2.5 million mansion during a bankruptcy declaration was not in accordance with the true spirit of bankruptcy, it did not really affect Burt’s highbrow lifestyle and spirit.

  • Kim Basinger

Many of her fans are still not aware of the fact that the star had to file for bankruptcy back in 1993. Kim backed out of “Boxing Helena” and the Main Line pictures sued her for a whopping $8.1 million.

The trial went on for 3 years and the parties settled for $3.8 million for breach of contract. Since then she has appeared in many iconic movies like 8 miles and cellular. She has turned her financial status around. At 60 years, Kim Basinger is estimated to be worth around $36 million, if not more.

  • Nicolas Cage

After making some terrible movies and horrible investment choices, Cage owed as much as $6.5 million in back taxes in 2009. He has spent oodles in private jets, exotic pets, and expensive sports cars. He owns a medieval castle, mansions in the Bahamas and a country manor. Even in the last decade, Cage has been paying what he owes the state in taxes since the IRS slammed him with a bill for $6.2 million in dues.

Off late he has been seen in quite a few notable movies including “Gone in 60 Seconds,” and he is making millions to put him back on the Hollywood’s richest list.

  • Walt Disney

We have all been tickled by an anthropomorphic mouse named Mickey, but little do most of us know that his creator, Walt Disney was broke when Mickey was conceived. He was broke and bankrupt when his clients refused payment over a sour film deal.

After 5 years of destitute living and utter poverty came Mickey Mouse who rescued Walt from his bankrupt state. Later he went on to become the owner of the Disney franchise and earned millions. For more details, please visit

These are 10 famous figures who show us that the big “B” is not always bad. It is just another state of being that can be changed with a little effort and wise decision-making. Today, dealing with bankruptcy is a lot easier thanks to smart debt consolidation companies. You can find reliable consolidation companies online based on client reviews and testimonials. We may not like to believe it, but most of these 10 people have had it much worse since they did not have the access to debt consolidation options back in the early 1900s and 1800s.

Author Bio: Isabella Rossellini is a researcher working as a full-time consultant and part-time writer. Apart from the investment articles, she also posts many reviews and feedback about companies consolidating your debts and other financing options.