Despite selling millions of records, going on many worldwide tours and topping international charts, four original members of the reggae band UB40 have been declared bankrupt.
Brian Travers, saxophone, Jimmy Brown, drums, Terence Oswald, trumpet and Norman Hassan, percussion, were declared bankrupt by a judge at Birmingham County Court last week, and have been listed by the Insolvency Service.
Robin Campbell, lead guitar and brother of the lead singer Ali, was also involved in the case but was not declared bankrupt.
The judge ruled that the band members' were subject to a year-long bankruptcy court order and that their assets may be seized to pay off their debts, for which their former management company DEP International Ltd. were largely responsible.
The company, formed by members of the band, went into administration in 2006 and into insolvent liquidation in 2008. At the same time, the band split due to arguments over management and business decisions, as frontman Ali Campbell later claimed.
The royalties from the band's back catalogue of famous songs including 'Red Red Wine', 'Kingston Town' and '(I Can't Help) Falling In Love With You', can now be collected by liquidators. Also, the band will be responsible for the costs of the case, estimated at around £55,000.
Ali Campbell's spokeswoman claimed that he made the right choice leaving the band when he did.
She said: "It is ironic that the very week they celebrate their first gig they have been declared bankrupt, after administration began in 2006, vindicating both Ali and [keyboardist] Mickey Virtue's decision to leave UB40."
One week before the ruling, a music heritage plaque was placed at the Hare and Hounds pub in Birmingham, where UB40 played their first ever gig in 1979.
When a person is made bankrupt, their non-essential assets are sold off to cover their debt. This does not include things like tools which they use for work or household items such as furniture and bedding. Also their excess income beyond what is needed for bills and such will be taken and controlled by the Official Receiver.
A bankrupt person will not be able to get credit or use credit cards and bank accounts beyond a very basic account.
While bankruptcy usually lasts for one year, the repercussions can last longer. It will be noted on credit reference agency files for six years making it very difficult to get loans, credit cards and mortgages after bankruptcy.
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