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'My Five Wives' Dad Declares Bankruptcy, Saves Wedding Ring

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By Brett Snider, Esq. on September 09, 2014 11:20 AM

The dad from TLC's "My Five Wives" has dug himself out of more than $300,000 debt by declaring bankruptcy -- and he even got to keep his wedding ring.

Brady Williams may still have five wives, but he's divorced himself from some $318,000 in debt. According to TMZ, the father of dozens had listed his $50 wedding ring and $3.61 in savings (yes, three dollars and sixty-one cents) as the paltry assets he still retained, and it looks like he'll be keeping the ring.

How did Williams clear himself of debt, and what about his five wives?

5 Wives, 24 Kids, 1 Bankruptcy Filing

Williams may have been in a bit over his head financially with his two dozen kids and five wives, which may explain why he filed for bankruptcy in July. It's likely that Williams filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which allows a debtor to get a "clean slate," no matter how much debt he or she may have amassed. The debtor then has to turn over most of his or her assets, which are then liquidated to satisfy creditors.

In the case of the TV polygamist, TMZ reports that he listed the following as assets:

  • Real estate ($10,215),
  • Five cars (about $16,000 total),
  • A Honda ATV ($150),
  • A wedding ring ($50),
  • A lawn mower ($20),
  • Wallet money ($22), and
  • Savings ($3.61).

This doesn't even come close to satisfying the hundreds of thousands he owed (from business loans and credit card debts), but Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows the discharge of many of these debts without fully paying them off. And luckily for Williams, while most types of property can be liquidated as part of the bankruptcy process, some property (like Williams' wedding ring) is exempt from being included in the bankruptcy estate.

What's Next for the 'My Five Wives' Dad?

Unfortunately, bankruptcy only removed a large portion of Williams' debt, leaving potentially around $84,000 still to be dealt with. Even under Chapter 7, there are still debts that cannot be discharged, such as student loans, back taxes, child support, court fees, etc.

On the plus side, any new income Williams makes can go toward satisfying those debts, as well as caring for his two dozen kids. And his five wives. He's only legally married to one of them (Paulie), and she's the lucky one to be mentioned in the bankruptcy filings.

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