Ex-President: Short on cash – Trump is threatened with seizure

Trump, the extremely rich businessman: That is the image of the Republican. But now he has problems making a high bail amount of more than $450 million. He's running out of time.

Donald Trump is a proud man. He is particularly proud of his successes as a businessman. “I'm not a politician. I'm a businessman,” he said during the 2015 election campaign.

Even today, the image of a very wealthy entrepreneur is part of the ex-president's core brand. He argues that his wealth makes him independent. Trump's wealth also represents power and success. The news that the 77-year-old is unable to pay a bail amount of around $450 million was all the more surprising. Trump's lawyers argue that timely payment is a “practical impossibility.” Is the Republican bankrupt?

How much money does he have?

Trump's fortune is a mystery – the US magazine “Forbes” currently estimates it at around 2.6 billion US dollars. However, this is not the money that the entrepreneur has available as cash or shares. Large parts of the money are tied up in real estate.

Trump's application now shows that he may have significantly less cash available than expected – or his lawyers are bluffing. Just under a year ago, Trump said: “We have a lot of cash. I think we have well over $400 million in cash.” Today, Trump claimed to have nearly $500 million in cash. He wants to use most of the money for the election campaign.

Expensive processes

Recently, Trump was asked to pay several times by the judiciary. In January, for example, a New York court sentenced Trump to pay more than $80 million in damages to author E. Jean Carroll for defamation. The Republican appealed, but had to post a kind of bail of more than $90 million with the court.

A short time later it got even worse. Trump, who wants to move back into the White House after the presidential election in November, was sentenced to a fine of more than $350 million in a fraud trial in New York. With interest, the total amount now amounts to more than $450 million.

According to the court, Trump manipulated the value of his Trump Organization for years in order to get cheaper loans and insurance contracts. Here too, Trump is appealing against the verdict – but still has to pay the money as bail.

The clock is ticking

Despite negotiations with around 30 insurance companies, it has not yet been possible to obtain a guarantee, according to Trump's lawyers. “Very few bail insurers will consider a bond of this magnitude,” it said.

The purpose of such a deposit, which Trump now owes, is so that winners in civil cases actually get their money if the loser is unsuccessful in an appeal. Because the path through the instances can take years. However, if Trump's appeal were successful, he would have to pay a fee worth millions to the insurance company – he would get the rest of the money back.

“Trump owes this money because he fraudulently misrepresented the value of his assets, and now apparently no one wants to accept these assets as collateral. Oops,” said the Washington Post, referring to the bail bondsmen who do not vouch for Trump want.

Trump is running out of time – he has until Monday to pay. If he doesn't do that, the justice system can start seizing Trump's properties or accounts. It is unclear whether this will happen. Trump has asked an appeals court to either suspend payment of the money or accept a guarantee of only $100 million for the time being.

Limited scope

According to reports, the New York public prosecutor's office has already taken the first steps to seize the Republican's assets in Westchester County, New York State in the future. Trump owns a golf course and a property there.

Experts do not assume that Trump will find a padlock on the properties there on Monday or that he will no longer be able to withdraw money. But the prosecution's actions give an indication of what the judiciary is after – and that it is taking the matter seriously.

It's unclear what Trump will do now – he only has a few options. First of all, in typical Trump fashion, he decided to sound the alarm and beg for donations. “Keep your dirty hands off Trump Tower,” said a message from his team to his supporters.

The fact is that Trump is already taking advantage of the situation to collect donations for his election campaign. But it is more than unclear whether he could even use this money to pay the deposit for his civil case. And the election campaign itself costs a fortune.

Trump Tower is a skyscraper in New York, Trump's name is emblazoned there in huge gold letters. The high-rise building in a prime location is considered a symbol of Trump's wealth. It is unlikely that this will be confiscated any time soon. “You can't just say: That's Trump Tower, I'll take it,” said New York foreclosure lawyer Steven Yudin to the US broadcaster ABC. He doesn't assume that Trump owns the entire building himself – that needs to be unraveled first.

Is bankruptcy imminent?

Trump could solve his money problem by filing for bankruptcy. However, this is considered very unlikely. The self-proclaimed doer who wants to lead the fortunes of the world's largest economy as president – suddenly bankrupt? This is likely to damage Trump's reputation in the election campaign against the Democratic incumbent Joe Biden. And it also doesn't fit with Trump's self-image as a successful businessman. However, the Republican could also let smaller companies that are part of his empire and are liable go bankrupt.

It is also possible that Trump will sell some of his properties to get cash. “I would be forced to take out mortgages or sell large assets, perhaps at fire-sale prices, and if I won the appeal they would be gone. Does that make sense?” he complained on the platform he co-founded, Truth Social. Maybe Trump will find someone to lend him at least some of the money and scrape together the rest himself. But as we all know, friendship ends when it comes to money.