Radio Personality Asks for Celebrity Exception in Bankruptcy Court
A radio personality who serves as a troubleshooter for struggling consumers is facing criticism from a Colorado newspaper that believes he is asking for special favors during his bankruptcy process.
Tom Martino, a radio personality who offers consumer advice, has drawn the ire of a skeptical bankruptcy judge who hasn’t appreciated Martino’s efforts to speed up his bankruptcy proceedings.
And a report from the Denver Post details Martino’s odd adventures inside a U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Colorado.
Radio Personality Tries to Expedite Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Case
According to the Denver Post, Tom Martino has raised a fuss in bankruptcy court over the alleged timing of is Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceeding:
- Martino’s complaints. According to his bankruptcy lawyer, Tom Martino believes that the court is “foot-dragging” and taking an unnecessarily long time to resolve his Chapter 7 case. Martino, apparently, is eager to “clear his name” and return to his radio hosting duties with a fresh financial bill of health.
- Court’s response. In response to Martino’s claims, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Michael Romero said he didn’t understand why Martino was crying foul when the judge had already told Martino that the trustee would have until May 1 to sift through documents in Martino’s estate.
- Trustee’s concerns. In addition, the trustee involved in the case questioned why Martino, a relatively famous consumer advocate, had filed for Chapter 7 instead of Chapter 11. Under Chapter 11, which is a reorganization plan, Martino would have more control over the daily timing of the bankruptcy efforts.
- An odd lawsuit. In response to these criticisms, Martino filed a strange lawsuit against the bankruptcy trustee, claiming he was taking too long to examine his estate, despite the fact that the bankruptcy judge clearly gave the trustee several months to do his work. The lawsuit is still pending.
Sources say that Martino believes his business, in which he offers financial advice to consumers, is being irreparably destroyed by his bankruptcy filing. Martino has claimed that the damage to his reputation stemming from his lengthy bankruptcy has led to the loss of more than 100 clients.
However, Martino voluntarily opted for bankruptcy and, as the Denver Post observes, should not be able to receive special favors simply because he is a minor celebrity.
And court officials seem to agree, as they continue to refuse Martino’s requests to treat his filing differently from the bankruptcy cases of other consumers, many of whom will likely loss elsewhere in the future for financial advice.