Donald Trump is Looking for Half a Billion Dollars, But What if He Doesn’t Find it?


Donald Trump needs to find $454 million by today. It follows his conviction for fraud last month. Trump will appeal that conviction, but he must first raise that huge bail amount.


What if that doesn’t work? And can’t Trump get help?

1. What is such a deposit for?
Donald Trump wants to appeal his fraud conviction. Still, the court expects him first to secure bail. It is a guarantee that the party appealing a judgment can and will pay it if the appeal is unsuccessful.
This arrangement serves as security for the party that won the first lawsuit. However long the appeal process takes, the money is in escrow and can be awarded immediately if the appeal process is also won.
Trump was sentenced to a $355 million fine. The deposit amount is higher because interest must be paid on the fine. The longer Trump waits, the more significant the amount he has to pay.

2. Trump is a billionaire; can’t he pay that money?
The business magazine Forbes estimates Donald Trump’s fortune to be $2.6 billion. But that doesn’t mean he can quickly put half a billion on the table. The money doesn’t just sit in his bank account.
Trump owns most of that money in the form of his real estate. Think of his buildings in New York City, his golf resorts in New Jersey and Scotland, or Mar-a-Lago, his private club and current home in Florida.
It is difficult to determine how much cash Donald Trump has. He once claimed it was more than $400 million. But he can’t just spend that money either. He must keep sufficient cash to arrange current affairs and costs.

3. Where can you find half a billion dollars?
Some insurance companies or licensed companies provide bail money to help you appeal. Of course, they don’t just do that. The money is borrowed, and interest must be paid, often monthly. Some collateral will be required, which may consist of money in bank accounts, shares, or real estate.
If Trump loses the appeal, that collateral must be used to repay the deposit. Donald Trump recently secured a $92 million bond in this way to appeal the case against writer E. Jean Carroll.
Trump’s legal team says the sum, $454 million, makes it virtually impossible to find someone willing to act as guarantor. More than 30 parties were reportedly contacted, but no agreement was reached with anyone to lend the enormous amount.

Donald Trump’s reputation for not paying back money owed may also have contributed to the fact that no one was found willing. Trump’s lawyers previously suggested limiting bail to $100 million or even postponing payment until after the case is on appeal.

4. Aren’t there private players willing to help Trump?
One option is to find wealthy donors willing to lend him the money. For the time being, no billionaires seem willing to make the money available. This option also has a danger: It could leave Donald Trump vulnerable and dependent on wealthy Americans willing to buy control to implement their agenda.
But that control could just as well come from abroad. The danger of the money being raised through foreign governments has already been pointed out. Thus, these foreign powers could end up indebted to Trump, possibly the next US president.

5. Can he sell real estate?
If he were to sell real estate on such short notice, he might lose a lot of money. Potential buyers know this is a distressed sale and will exploit the situation to buy the property for next to nothing. Something that Trump also pointed out on social media. A fire sale would force him to sell cheaply, and he would never be able to recover the money he lost.

6. What if he is declared bankrupt?
Bankruptcy is also a way to avoid judgment for an indefinite period. However, Donald Trump has built his entire reputation around the image of a successful businessman. Although it would not be the first time Donald Trump has filed for bankruptcy. At this point, during another presidential campaign, he will avoid taking that route.

7. What if he doesn’t have the money?
New York Attorney General Letitia James has already been clear. If Trump doesn’t pay, she will seize his property, the money in his bank accounts, and real estate. She even mentioned his office building, 40 Wall Street in New York City. However, it may take several buildings to cover the total amount. Letitia James does not have to limit herself to the buildings in New York, either. In theory, she could go after Mar-a-Lago.
Since Trump’s real estate showcases his company and person, such a seizure would be an equally big slap in the face. Yet Trump seems to be pushing for this on social media. This path could potentially lead to many other legal battles. And legal battles have not done him any harm in the recent campaign.

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