It hasn't been a terribly good few months for Dallas attorney Tom Corea. He has been sued by several former clients who claim he stole their settlement money, indicted by Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins and stripped of his law license by the Texas State Bar.
At the risk of kicking the man when he's down, we now point you to Corea's Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing. It seems that Corea has bitten off a bit more than he could chew over the years and now owes creditors $7.1 million, or roughly five times his $1.6 million in assets.
So how does a moderately high profile lawyer amass such a sizable debt? A schedule of assets filed yesterday gives us some idea. Maintaining his professional reputation seems to have been costly, given that he owes Telemundo and Channel 21 $166,000 for blanketing daytime TV with his ads and another $26,500 to CBS Outdoor for plastering his face all over Dallas. Luxury vehicles seem to have been a passion of Corea's as he owes a combined $290,000 for his BMW, two Mercedes, a Cadillac Escalade and a Porsche, not counting the $10,000 he still has due to Discount Tire or the 2007 Country Coach motor home, Blue Book value $382,890.
There are dozens of other claims of a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. A good chunk of his debt comes from his home and business. He still owes nearly $1 million on two homes and a couple of hundred acres in Palmer, Texas, and the entirety of an $800,000 business loan.
Corea's quarter horse operation, Whistlestop Ranch, is not listed as an asset. It belongs to his wife, he claims, and she just filed for divorce. All those horses and stables and land aren't technically his and thus can't be taken during his bankruptcy.
Even if they can be, Corea would still be in a boatload of debt, and all those clients he's allegedly screwed over would be just as unlikely to get their money.