Creditor Claims vs. Adelphia: $3 Trillion

Creditor claims against bankrupt MSO Adelphia Communications Corp. equal roughly 40% of the national debt, AP reported.

Part of the reason for the $3 trillion in claims is the fact that the MSO is made up of 243 separate entities, which has led to duplicative claims in bankruptcy court, according to AP.

Adelphia filed for bankruptcy in 2002, declaring $18.6 billion in debt -- the amount it expects to owe when the bankruptcy paperwork is settled, AP reported.

"A person is only entitled to be paid once, but trying to sort that out turns into an accounting nightmare," Denver bankruptcy lawyer Paul Rubner told AP, adding that creditors must correctly identify the entity that owes them.

"The good news is that you have to be specific about where you file it," Rubner added. "The bad news is that if the client is unsure, the lawyer is apt to file it in every possible case."

Adelphia spokesman Paul Jacobson told AP the company’s bankruptcy case is "arguably the most complex bankruptcy in U.S. business. It is a strange animal."