Trump’s Bankruptcy Addiction: Four Times His Companies Have Filed For Chapter 11




“I have used the laws of this country … the [bankruptcy] chapter laws, to do a great job for my company, for myself, for my employees, for my family,”  during the first Republican presidential debate on August 6.

At the debate he said “virtually every person that you read about on the front page of the business sections, they’ve used the [bankruptcy] law”- in fact, he even claims that successful businesses often file for bankruptcy.

However less than 20% of all publicly listed companies have filed for bankruptcy over the last three decades according to and S&P Capital IQ.

Trump has filed for four business bankruptcies, the highest number over the decades. As Chapter 11 bankruptcies, the businesses would continue to operate and eventually pay off the debt under renegotiated terms, and a reduced interest rate.

He isn’t particularly shameful of the bankruptcies either; “These lenders aren’t babies. These are total killers,” he said at the debate. “These are not the nice, sweet little people.” Whether or not these were “nice, sweet little people”, you’ve effectively abused bankruptcy laws to enrich yourself; laws meant to protect “nice sweet little people”, were being used to protect the filthy rich from the bad investments they make… Incentivising them to make riskier bets.

Please forgive me for being a little suspicious of your actions as POTUS if your primary concern is and always has been to enrich yourself… besides, if you ran your country like your companies, how many times would it fail?

Trump Taj Mahal, 1991

His first bankruptcy was the only one where he had any personal risk of losing his fortune: he had financed the casino’s construction with junk bonds, debt that bears a relatively high interest because of the (correctly predicted) high risk  of default.

He was personally liable for some 900 million dollars, and he had to sell off half his share of the casino (though he still had control over it)… as well as his 282-foot-long yacht and Trump Shuttle airline. His single largest creditor was Carl Icahn, who is also the man he chose to be his Treasury Secretary if he were elected.

Trump Castle Associates, 1992


Just one year later, his other Atlantic City casinos would ALSO go bankrupt: the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, the Trump Castle Casino Resort and the Trump Plaza Hotel in New York. He would retain his stake in the casinos.

Trump Hotel & Casino Resorts, 2004

His businesses were profitable for another decade, but you should know that bankruptcy is like a drug to Trump; he just can’t stay away for long: Trump Hotel and Casino Resort was 1.8 billion dollars in debt, and he had to give up 75% of the company for a new loan.

 Trump Entertainment Resorts, 2009

After defaulting on a 53 million dollar interest payment, Trump Entertainment Resorts declared bankruptcy. Trump could not come to an agreement with his board of directors beforehand, because they weren’t quite as addicted to filing for bankruptcy as he was. He had to resign from the board as a result, and gave up his stake in the company.

In order to distance himself from the failed venture, he sued the two Atlantic City casinos which still bore his name in order to have them change their name. It shouldn’t have been hard, as the casinos probably didn’t have enough money to thread water, much less pay for the legal fees: they would file for bankruptcy again in 2014, shedding thousands of jobs.

Never to let a good bankruptcy go to waste, Trump would claim that running a company into the ground and bailing out just before it blew up, killing everyone on board, was a good thing:

“I had the good sense, and I’ve gotten a lot of credit in the financial pages, seven years ago I left Atlantic City before it totally cratered,” he said during the debate.

Is this the man you want steering America?

“I had the good sense, I’ve gotten a lot of credit in the international papers, seven years ago I left America before it totally cratered”.

Sources: CNN, Investopedia, Vanity Fair

This Article (Trump’s Bankruptcy Addiction: Four Times His Companies Have Filed For Chapter 11) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author(CoNN) and

Get Your Anonymous T-Shirt / Sweatshirt / Hoodie / Tanktop, Smartphone or Tablet Cover or Mug In Our Spreadshirt ShopClick Here


  1. It’s not just Trump’s failed businesses that are that should be questioned, it’s also his attitude. The hatred and fear mongering he seems to be cultivating is catching on, and if there are problems now with cultural diversity, those problems are about to get much, much worse. For all the good he will bring to American politics, you may as well have Alice Walton as president. At least when she is standing over the common man, with her whip and shackles, you’ll know why. The presidential campaign is no longer about who is able to manage the various challenges of national solidarity, while at the same time presenting an image of leadership that reflects honour, integrity, and compassion, it has become a race to see who can make the biggest impact in an extremely chaotic and unpredictable social environment. Ask yourself, is Donald Trump REALLY the best man for the job? I fear for my American brothers, I fear that if Trump is elected to the big chair, the wildfires of civil disobedience will flare up again, and revolution may be just around the corner.

  2. Hey.. bankruptcy and screwing people is a Republican thing…look at the Dan Harkey scandal in Orange County, CA. Owing millions and millions and millions and millions and millions and millions after his court loss for Elder Financial Abuse he declares bankruptcy. Of course, his wife Diane is a big Republican politician who had no idea whatsoever..what was going on…

  3. So let’s review…He followed the available laws and ended up paying back quite a bit of the debt back after filing.
    Meanwhile over 1/2 of the Alternative Energy Companies O’BUMMER wrote Taxpayer Paid Checks with have filed BK and SHUTDOWN w/o ANY restitution to U.S. hmmm…seems to me you’ve got your priorities ALL F’D’UP!

  4. Many companies take out Chapter, 13 bankruptcy in order to reorganize. Trump has many successful companies he has created. How many have you created????


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.