Michael Jacksons Financial Problems

Lawsuits Foreclosure and More

Despite Michael Jackson’s huge commercial success, Michael's money problems at the time before Michael Jackson’s death and the aftermath of his death were hard to believe. Facing the loss of his Neverland Ranch, massive debts, and forced to auction off some of his most beloved properties, Michael Jackson was in terrible financial shape before his death. Though it seems hard to believe that someone who sold more than 61 million albums would have the kind of issues that someone with Michael Jackson's money did, it is true; he was nearly broke by the end of his life, which was yet another of Michael Jackson’s scandals. It is even estimated that when Michael died, he was $400 million in debt. The biggest sign of Michael Jackson's financial problems was when he had to give up his Neverland Ranch. He had bought Neverland in 1988 for $14.6 million; it was a 2.6 acre property in Santa Barbara, and represented the peak of Jackson’s happiness. However, in 1993, with the tabloids criticizing Michael Jackson’s changing appearance, and molestation charges being brought against Michael, things started to go downhill.

Between the lawsuit, which was settled out of court and involved Michael paying the boy’s family $22 million, and other lawsuits, Michael Jackson's finances were seriously in trouble.

In 1995, struggling with his finances, Michael Jackson sold Sony his music publishing rights for $95 million. At the end of the 20th century, he began to borrow large sums of money, adding to Michael's money problems, and putting him in deeper and deeper debt. In 2003, during the second child molestation trial, someone testified that Michael was spending $20 to $30 million more per year than he was earning. In addition, he faced a $7 million lawsuit from Bahrain. In March of 2008, Michael Jackson's money problems came to a head when he faced foreclosure on Neverland; in addition, there was talk that he owed payments on a house in LA. Desperate to make money, Michael auctioned off memorabilia in order to raise funds for himself.

Michael Jackson was scheduled to perform 50 concerts around the time of Michael Jackson’s death and the aftermath of his death. It seems that maybe these concerts would have provided a stream of income, but probably not enough.