Giuliani Seeks to Alter Bankruptcy to Speed Asset Sale but Keep Future Income

Rudolph W. Giuliani told a bankruptcy court on Monday that he would like to have his assets sold to pay his creditors, including two Georgia election workers he defamed in his efforts to keep former President Donald J. Trump in office after the 2020 election.

Mr. Giuliani asked the bankruptcy court to convert his case from what is known as Chapter 11 to Chapter 7, which would put an independent trustee in charge of his assets, similar to what the creditors requested.

Mr. Giuliani, who filed for bankruptcy in December, has listed about $11 million in assets, most of which come from two properties he owns in New York and Palm Beach, Fla. In court filings, he has disclosed that he owes about 20 people and businesses about $153 million, including $148 million to the two election workers, Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss.

After months of absent, late and incomplete filings, lawyers for his creditors recently asked the court to hold the former New York City mayor in contempt and to impose penalties. They have previously expressed concerns that he is hiding income. Last month, they asked the court to appoint an independent trustee to take over Mr. Giuliani’s personal and business finances.

“It’s not going to be fun for him,” said Susan Block-Lieb, a professor at Fordham Law School in New York who teaches bankruptcy law. “Chapter 7, this is not Club Med.”

Since he filed for bankruptcy, Mr. Giuliani, previously Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer, has failed to come up with a plan for a monthly budget and how to pay back his creditors.

If the judge agrees to convert the case to Chapter 7, he will not have to. The independent trustee will take over everything. The trustee is selected by the U.S. Trustee’s office, a division of the Justice Department responsible for ensuring that debtors and creditors are treated fairly in bankruptcy proceedings.

“Mayor Giuliani is simply following available options to combat an entirely partisan and politically motivated proceeding,” his spokesman, Ted Goodman, said in an email about the filing. Mr. Giuliani faces criminal charges in Georgia and Arizona over his role in trying to overturn the 2020 election results.

Managing his case under Chapter 7, Mr. Giuliani would have to turn over nearly all of his current assets to his creditors, but he would be able to keep his future earnings, said Adam Levitin, a bankruptcy professor at Georgetown University’s law school.

“He’s going to lose almost everything he currently has,” Mr. Levitin said.

Alex Jones, the Infowars conspiracy theorist who spread lies about the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting, took a similar step in his own bankruptcy case.

In recent months, Mr. Giuliani’s creditors have sought details about his businesses, issuing a stream of subpoenas to people and entities he has worked with. Among the most recent subpoenas was one sent to Mike Lindell, the Republican donor and pillow magnate.

In a filing last month, Mr. Giuliani disclosed that Mr. Lindell, the chief executive of MyPillow, paid one of Mr. Giuliani’s companies to sponsor his blogs. Mr. Lindell has also pushed the falsehood that Mr. Trump was the winner of the 2020 presidential election.

Mr. Giuliani’s creditors have questioned whether he has accurately appraised some of his assets, such as his three World Series rings from the New York Yankees. The trustee will now manage those assessments and sell them for a fair price, Mr. Levitin said. If the trustee finds that Mr. Giuliani has been intentionally hiding assets in violation of bankruptcy law, the former mayor could face criminal charges.

Representatives for Ms. Freeman and Ms. Moss did not immediately respond to requests for comment.