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Cable TV star files for chapter 7 bankruptcy

A cable television star chef has seen a huge rise in success. The chef is seen on four Food Network programs; he has operated a number of high-profile restaurants and is expanding the number of restaurants that he operates into more states. Unfortunately, he is facing a lawsuit regarding a business partnership that he is longer associated with.

A seasoned Cincinnati bankruptcy attorney knows that financial distress can arise for a wide variety of reasons. The tough economy has affected many in Ohio. High credit card debt, foreclosure, wage garnishment and threatened repossessions are not the only reasons people seek relief under the bankruptcy code.

Geoffrey Zakarian reviewed his option and has decided to file for personal bankruptcy under chapter 7 of the bankruptcy code. He filed his petition last month with the bankruptcy court. The star chef lists personal assets totaling $50,000 in his petition. He reportedly is facing more than $1 million in liabilities. He has also listed 179 creditors. Many of the creditors, 154, are cooks formerly on Zakarian's staff while he was involved in a prior business partnership who are suing him over a past wage dispute.

The allegations arose under a past business partnership that was dissolved in 2008. Zakarian denies the allegations in the lawsuit. Now that lawsuit is put on hold. As with any attempts to collect on most past debts, filing for bankruptcy places a halt to collection activities. Foreclosure proceedings, wage garnishments, repossession and creditor phone calls are included in the automatic stay.

The halt to collection activities is not permanent in all cases. However, to resume the activities, the creditor must receive permission in the bankruptcy process. An experienced bankruptcy attorney can explain what options may be available to Ohio residents who are being hounded by creditors.

Source: Seattle Times, "Star chef, facing a suit, files for bankruptcy," Nick Fox 28 Apr 2011

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