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Can You Lose Your Name In Bankruptcy? Just Ask Young Buck.

We know that when filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, there are some things that are exempt and others that cannot be taken from you. David Darnell Brown is apparently learning that anything can have value – even a name.

Brown is also known as Young Buck, his stage name. Buck filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy in Tennessee because he owes a lot of money. There’s child support, tax debt, and a disputed contractual debt. Sure, the contract is one that he’s got with rapper 50 Cent and his G-Unit record label, but aside from the numbers Buck could easily be one of my clients.

Here’s the thing: Young Buck is a trademark owned by Brown. And under the bankruptcy exemptions in Tennessee, apparently the value of the trademark can’t be considered exempt. Once the bankruptcy case was converted to a Chapter 7 case, the trustee decided that he could sell that trademark for the benefit of Brown’s creditors.

To be sure, you’re not likely to lose your name if you file for bankruptcy – but a business asset such as a trademark can be sold either in bankruptcy or through a regular business dealing. Shoe designer Jimmy Choo lost control over his own name years ago when he sold part of his interest in the company.

If you’re thinking of filing for bankruptcy you want to make sure that you and your lawyer consider all of your property, not just the obvious things like a house and a car. Those collectible comic books, vintage cameras and your stamp collection that’s been gathering dust in the attic are all potentially valuable pieces of property that could be as risk.

What’s the solution? Once you and your lawyer speak, it may be time to get some of the items most likely to be considered valuable appraised. For some things, it may be a pawn shop to determine liquidation value. For others, something more formal may be in the cards.

It’s a pain in the neck, but if it’s worth saving then it’s worth being safe.

I wonder what Young Buck is going to be called after his bankruptcy is over? Young Nameless?

Picture of a young buck (not the rapper) courtesy of mullica

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By |December 26th, 2011|

About the Author:

I’ve been a consumer protection lawyer since 1995, working to help people end their bill problems. I’m a faculty member at the Student Loan Law Workshop, a nationally recognized speaker, and a long-time member of both the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys and National Association of Consumer Advocates.

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