Park Bo Gum revealed his past financial difficulties, which included dealing with a loan shark and filing for bankruptcy.
On March 2, The Chosun Ilbo published an article which chronicled the 22-year-old actor’s journey from fiscal hardship to solvency.
According to the report, Park was the co-signer for a 2008 loan in which his father was the primary borrower of approximately $243,765 USD (300 million KRW). The money was provided to his father by a loan shark for a start-up that did not yield fiscal return.
The business eventually filed for bankruptcy and his father was unable to pay the debt. Because the loan was provided through alternative lending streams and not a reputable bank, the interest inflated the debt to $649,448 USD (800 million KRW).
In 2014, while he continued to appear in supporting roles, Park was pressured by the loan shark to pay back the money, in the full. When he failed to provide payment, he was taken to court by the lender.
His monetary struggles, due to decisions made by his father, harken to his portrayal of Park Seok Hyun in the 2015 film noir, “Coin Locker Girl.” Seok Hyun faces the wrath of loan sharks who place pressure on him to pay back his father’s debt.
“In court Park argued that he had no obligation to repay the debt since he was under age at the time it was taken out and completely unaware that his father had made him a guarantor,” said the reporter for The Chosun Ilbo.
Park filed for bankruptcy in December 2014, after refusing to pay the debt.
“In March last year, the court accepted Park’s request and declared him bankrupt, with a probe ensuing to determine how much of the debt should be written off,” said the Chosun Ilbo article. “The loan shark claimed Park was fully capable of repaying the debt because he was an entertainer.”
The court analyzed his income and ruled that he should be held responsible for approximately $24,390 USD (30 million KRW).
The success of “Reply 1988” and subsequent opportunities enabled Park to pay the remaining debt in full.
The Chosun Ilbo noted that third-party loan guarantees were banned by the Korean government in 2013, but the law does not affect loans that were issued prior to the ruling.
Meanwhile, Park continues to reach audiences through the tvN reality show, “Youth Over Flowers: Africa.”