Just ten short years ago, singer and songwriter Toni Braxton was singing a sad tune as she filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Los Angeles. Toni’s fans were shocked, because her albums had enjoyed such success, but it was that very success that led to problems. Braxton filed a lawsuit against her recording company, because she felt the terms of her contract were no longer fair. The LaFace company countersued, and the only way Toni could halt the endless legal battles was to declare bankruptcy. While waiting for the negotiations to end, Toni played Belle in Disney’s Beauty and The Beast on Broadway.

As an Indianapolis bankruptcy lawyer, I enjoy learning about famous people who were able to move past the dark periods in their careers and go forward to achieve success. While my Indiana bankruptcy clients are very rarely stars, Toni Braxton’s story brings out a message I try to convey to all my clients: Bankruptcy is not the end of everything; in fact, it signals a fresh beginning and a new chance at personal and business success.

In the years following her bankruptcy, Toni Braxton recorded seven new albums, earning no fewer than six Grammy Awards. She appeared in a movie and in a TV sitcom. And this very month, almost exactly ten years after her 1998 “downer”, Toni is appearing in her own Las Vegas spectacular, complete with her own band, amazing costumes and tens of backup singers and dancers. Rags to riches? Not exactly. Hers is more like a riches to rags to riches story.