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Casey Anthony Settles Search-and-Rescue Bill

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By Betty Wang, JD on October 22, 2013 12:14 PM

Casey Anthony has finally reached a settlement with a search-and-rescue group that spent about $100,000 looking for her missing 2-year-old daughter Caylee.

Anthony was convicted in 2011 of lying to police, but acquitted in her daughter's killing. The search group, Texas EquuSearch, sued Anthony to cover its expenses in searching for Caylee. EquuSearch brought many volunteers to Florida and claimed that its funds were drained in the futile search.

But despite the settlement, it is unlikely that the group will see any money soon, if at all, because of the fact that Anthony, 26, has filed for bankruptcy.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

According to Reuters, Anthony filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy earlier this year, claiming that she only had about $1,000 in assets while being almost $800,000 in debt.

There are two main categories of bankruptcy for consumers: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is more of a repayment plan, while a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is known as a "liquidation bankruptcy." Essentially, all of the debtor's assets are sold off and all debts are erased (with the exception of those that aren't legally capable of expungement, such as child support).

However, there are many drawbacks to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. For example, the debtor runs the risk of taking a huge hit on his or her credit score. Also, it will be very difficult for the debtor to ever take out a mortgage.

EquuSearch's Portion

In Casey Anthony's settlement with EquuSearch, the group will not object to being named as a $75,000 creditor in Anthony's bankruptcy proceeding.

EquuSearch's lawyer told the Orlando Sentinel he's not sure if the organization will see anything close to $75,000; Chapter 7 creditors, he said, "usually receive very little money, if anything."

As part of Anthony's settlement with EquuSearch, Anthony also is not required to admit liability. Two other parties also have actions pending against Anthony in federal court, the Sentinel reports.

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