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What Happens if Trump Fails to Post $454M Bond in His Civil Fraud Case by Monday?

Should Trump fail to secure the necessary funds by the upcoming deadline, Attorney General Letitia James could initiate asset seizures.
Cover Image Source: Donald Trump | Getty Images | Photo by Win McNamee
Cover Image Source: Donald Trump | Getty Images | Photo by Win McNamee

Former President and Republican Party nominee Donald Trump faces a looming financial crisis, compounded by significant legal obligations, including 91 criminal charges and an impending criminal trial. In a recent court filing on March 18th, his legal team revealed that despite efforts, Trump has been unable to secure assistance from 30 different companies capable of posting a bond exceeding $454 million.


According to reports from CNN, Trump's lawyers reached out to major corporations in an attempt to secure coverage for both him and his sons. However, the insurance giants deemed it a "practical impossibility," citing internal caps that restrict payouts to no more than $100 million at a time.

The situation stems from a Manhattan Supreme Court ruling in February, where Justice Arthur Engoron ordered a substantial judgment against Trump. This decision followed a three-month trial during which the Attorney General's office argued that Trump had inflated his net worth by billions to obtain favorable loan and insurance terms.

Republican presidential candidate, former President Donald Trump | Getty Images |  Alon Skuy
Image Source: Former President Donald Trump | Getty Images | Photo by Alon Skuy

Trump is now gearing up to contest Engoron's judgment. However, to proceed with his legal challenge, he must either place the entire judgment amount in escrow or obtain a bond.

"If you’re trying to appeal a financial penalty, the courts want to make sure if you lose at the end of the day you can pay the penalty," said Kevin J. O’Brien, a former prosecutor and current defense attorney, via NY Post. "This is an attempt to keep appellants honest." The attorney also highlighted the substantial size of the judgment, identifying it as the primary challenge.

Previously, Trump attempted to reduce the bond to $100 million but now wants to eliminate it. Experts also suggest that if the former American president can demonstrate to the court the validity of his claims, he may have a chance to win his appeal, potentially resulting in a reduction of the bond amount.


Many have speculated that Trump could potentially raise funds by selling his properties in a "fire sale." However, critics argue that such a move would result in irreversible losses, as he would likely have to sell them at significantly reduced prices.

Moreover, if he were to win the ultimate appeal of the judgment, he might never be able to repurchase these properties at the same price.

Should Trump fail to secure the necessary funds by the upcoming Monday deadline, Attorney General Letitia James could initiate asset seizures, a course of action she has stated she is prepared to pursue without hesitation.

International Trump Tower hotel in Las Vegas, USA | Getty Images | Fred Marie/Art in All of Us
Image Source: International Trump Tower hotel | Getty Images | Photo by Fred Marie

"If he doesn’t do that, there would be nothing stopping Letitia James and New York State from asking the court to seize certain assets to pay off the judgment amount that way," said New York real estate lawyer Melissa Levin. 

Furthermore, if Attorney General James proceeds with asset seizures, Trump's ownership stakes in iconic New York buildings such as the Trump International Hotel and Tower, Trump Park Avenue, properties at 40 Wall St, and 1290 Avenue of the Americas could all be at risk.

Financial expert O'Brien predicts that the asset seizure process would be "long and cumbersome." He further elaborated, stating, "It's going to take a long time before Trump loses any of these properties."