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'CSI' star files for bankruptcy

As a string of celebrity bankruptcy filings continues, former 'CSI' star Gary Dourdan has submitted paperwork to initiate his personal bankruptcy proceedings. The man, who had been a key player on one of television's most popular shows, says he is currently unable to meet his financial obligations.

Media reports show that the man filed for bankruptcy in August. He apparently has about $1.8 million in assets, but he owes $1.73 million. The majority of that debt is related to his mortgage, according to financial reports, with a large chunk also being owed to a variety of banking institutions for other loans.

Dourdan reportedly makes more than $14,000 each month, but the vast majority of his income goes toward paying bills. Currently, the actor claims that he only has about $300 in monthly disposable income, though he anticipates that future acting roles will help him earn more money. He has been sued for credit card debt in the past, according to news reports, including a recent instance in 2010.

The star reportedly filed an injunction against Wells Fargo to prevent the sale of his home in Venice, California.

In this case, Dourdan is most likely to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy because his assets outweigh his debts. To meet the criteria for Chapter 7, or liquidation, most clients must demonstrate debt so significant that their income could not possibly cover the bills. Dourdan, however, lists assets in excess of his debts. Considering the small margin, however, this could be a close call.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy permits clients to sell the majority of their holdings to pay off creditors. Generally, this option is reserved for those who do not own their own homes or vehicles. In essence, Chapter 7 is for people with few concrete assets. Chapter 13 bankruptcy, on the other hand, requires the client to create a restructured and reduced payment plan that will still satisfy creditors.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Gary Dourdan's bankruptcy filing: 'CSI' star in tough financial spot," Cavan Sieczkowski, Nov. 13, 2012

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