Trump Needs $464M Bond In Six days. What If He Can’t Get It?

  1. Trump’s Legal Battle: Facing Financial Crisis

Donald Trump’s legal team is urgently seeking a New York court’s intervention to halt a staggering $464 million civil fraud fine. The former president’s precarious financial situation could jeopardize his prized properties if the penalty is enforced.

According to Professor Will Thomas from the University of Michigan Ross Business School, Trump’s personal and business interests are at a critical juncture. Despite exhaustive efforts by his legal team, securing a company to underwrite the full fine has proven “practically impossible.”

  1. Legal Scenarios Unfold:A. Request for Pause: Trump’s lawyers anticipate a decision by March 25 on whether the $464 million judgment can be suspended during the appeals process. This outcome would be ideal for Trump, sparing him from parting with an estimated 16% of his reported $2.6 billion net worth. However, the presence of assets in New York could influence the court’s decision.B. Bond Acquisition: Failing a pause, Trump could still procure a bond, albeit at a cost. This avenue, however, seems challenging as his legal team has struggled to secure one despite approaching 30 companies.C. Compromise Possibility: Experts suggest the appeals court might propose a middle-ground solution, such as a smaller bond amount or a sworn statement from Trump regarding his assets. However, Trump’s request for a $100 million bond was previously denied.
  2. Payment Options and Consequences: A. Self-Payment: Trump could attempt to cover the fine using his own resources, having claimed $400 million in liquid assets previously. Quick liquidity could be sourced through property refinancing or asset sales, though the latter might be time-consuming. B. Bankruptcy Risk: Opting for bankruptcy, while a possible avenue, could incur significant costs and tarnish Trump’s reputation, especially during an election year.
  3. Asset Seizure by New York:A. Deadline Consequences: Failure to secure a bond or pay the fine by March 25 empowers New York Attorney General Letitia James to commence asset collection, as stated by her office.B. Property Loss: Trump risks losing iconic properties like Trump Tower and Mar-a-Lago if his assets are seized. However, any sale would await the conclusion of the appeals process.C. Distribution Process: In the event of asset liquidation, proceeds would first settle the judgment, with any surplus returned to Trump.

Mitchell Epner, a commercial litigation attorney, notes that multiple assets may be seized as individual properties may not collectively amount to $450 million.