Trump's Hundreds of Millions in Debt Was Forgiven: NYT

And he paid almost no federal tax on it, records show
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 28, 2020 9:03 AM CDT
Trump's Hundreds of Millions in Debt Was Forgiven: NYT
President Donald Trump speaks with reporters as he walks to Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House on Tuesday.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

President Trump's lenders have forgiven some $287 million in debt that he's failed to repay since 2010, most of that stemming from the Trump International Hotel & Tower in Chicago, the New York Times reports in its latest foray into the president's tax records. Deutsche Bank and the hedge fund Fortress Investment Group gave Trump years of extra time to repay debt, most of which was ultimately forgiven, per the Times. Forgiven debt is to be taxed as income, but Trump appears to have skirted a large federal tax bill owing to losses at his other businesses. The Chicago skyscraper was completed in the midst of the financial crisis and was hard to fill. Trump had already received a six-month extension to repay $334 million owed to Deutsche Bank and some $315 million owed to Fortress when he celebrated the construction in September 2008. It was a repeat of his strategy with Atlantic City casinos, per the Times.

Refused another extension, Trump sued his lenders, demanding $3 billion in damages, per the Times. A private settlement was reached in 2010. Fortress ultimately forgave some $270 million in unpaid debt, while collecting $48 million, per the Times. Deutsche Bank was able to collect about $235 million by 2012. It then granted Trump two loans worth $99 million so he could pay back what he still owed on the defaulted loan, as well as loans for other projects, worth hundreds of millions. Federal tax returns show Trump has "personally guaranteed the repayment of $421 million in debts," the Times reports, adding the loans come due in 2023 and 2024. New York authorities are investigating the forgiven debts. Trump responded Wednesday. "I was able to make an appropriately great deal with the numerous lenders on a large and very beautiful tower," he tweeted. "Doesn't that make me a smart guy rather than a bad guy?" (Read more President Trump stories.)

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