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A-Rod's 2009 World Series ring at center of bankruptcy case

Massachusetts baseball fans may have followed the ongoing saga between Alex Rodriguez and his now-estranged cousin who supposedly persuaded "A-Rod" to take steroids. The latest twist in this family feud involves the cousin's Chapter 7 bankruptcy and a replica of A-Rod's 2009 World Series ring that the famous baseball player gave to his cousin when the two were on better terms.

Reportedly due to his poor financial condition, the cousin sold this replica ring to a collector for $10,000. The collector has placed it up for auction, and the collector believes that he will receive $40,000 for the ring. However, the trustee in the cousin's bankruptcy case is now claiming that these proceeds belong to the bankruptcy estate and should all go to pay the cousin's debts.

At issue in this case is when the cousin obtained this ring. If he received it before he filed for bankruptcy, then the bankruptcy trustee arguably has a very valid point. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, most property that a person owns on the day he or she files for bankruptcy is subject to asset liquidation unless that property is "exempt" under federal or state bankruptcy law. A trustee even has some power to undo sales of property in order to collect property that rightly should go to pay off creditors.

This is why it is very important for a person filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy not to sell or give away property around the time that he or she files for bankruptcy. Of course, no one would expect a person not to go on with modest daily living purchases and expenditures. However, before making any unusual or large transfers of property, a person contemplating a bankruptcy should probably seek legal advice first.

A debtor's mishandling of property in this manner can delay a bankruptcy and create legal hassles for the debtor. In serious cases of mismanagement, a debtor could wind up not being allowed to file for bankruptcy and may even be accused of a crime.

Source: New York Daily News, "Bankruptcy court trustee claims dibs on Yankees 2009 World Series ring sold by Alex Rodriguez's cousin Yuri Sucart," Michael O' Keeffe, March 20, 2013

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