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Chapter 7 bankruptcy sought by Internet billionaire

Readers in New Jersey may be familiar with the name of Internet entrepreneur, Halsey Minor. Minor gained fame when he sold CNET Networks, Inc to CBS Corp for some $1.8 billion in 2008. Now he is in the news for his filing of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition in his home state.

At one point, Minor was one of the richest people under the age of 40 in our nation. He invested in and sold several companies in addition to CNET. He famously used some of his wealth to pay Colonial Williamsburg more than $15 million for the Carter Grove Plantation, originally built in the 1700s.

Now, the Chapter 7 bankruptcy states that Minor is unable to repay his unsecured creditors, including the historical society that sold him the mansion. He says that he owes more than $100 million to creditors. The list of creditors includes art galleries, and companies related to the raising and racing of horses. He appears to have disclosed assets valued at approximately $50 million.

In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy such as this one, people in New Jersey, as is the case for Minor, can expect that the Trustee will liquidate assets to repay creditors. However, some property may be retained through the use of bankruptcy exemptions. Once completed, this type of bankruptcy allows for unsecured debts to be discharged, freeing the individual who sought the bankruptcy from the overwhelming debts that they had accrued. This may be the result in the Minor case, giving him the chance to start another new business in the future.

Source: businessweek.com, "How Minor Blew Tech Fortune on Way to Bankruptcy," Dawn McCarty and Ari Levy, May 31, 2013

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