NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Country music songstress Tammy Wynette has filed for bankruptcy to protect herself from a $900,000 judgment against her by a federal agency.
'We were totally shocked,' said Ralph Gordon, an attorney representing Wynette and her husband, George Richardson, whose stage name is George Richey.
The judgment was in favor of the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corp. with whom Gordon had been in negotiation.
'Basically what happened was some investments Tammy and George Richey had in Florida were financed by Sunrise Savings and Loan, which failed,' Gordon said Wednesday.
'As a result of the failure, the FSLIC took over and obtained a judgment against them for $750,000. We had been in negotiation with the FSLIC attempting to resolve this,' Gordon said.
'We were shocked when we found out this morning that rather than attempting to further negotiate the matter, a U.S. marshal showed up to levy the house and property.'
Additional fines and costs have upped the debt to $900,000.
Wynette and Richardson own a large home in Nashville.
Steve Lefkovitz, another attorney representing the singer and her manager-husband, filed the Chapter 11 petition so the couple could reorganiza their fiannces.
Lefkovitz said the Richardsons have more than $1 million in other outstanding debts.
He said he will file a full statement within 15 days. The original petition did not list assets and liabilities.
U.S. Marshal Chuck Goggin executed the writ.
'Until I'm told differently, that's my property,' Goggin said, referring to the contents of the home. He said the levy list includes furniture, clothing, jewelry and all other household goods, but not the house itself or cars belonging to the couple.
Wynette was in California where she is on tour. Richardson was to fly back to Nashville Wednesday to help straighten things out.
Wynette, 46, is best known for such songs as 'Stand By Your Man,' 'D-I-V-O-R-C-E,' and 'Till I Can Make It On My Own.' Wynette was formerly married to country singer George Jones.