If a player draws the Chance card (US standard edition) that tells him "You have been elected Chairman of the Board. Pay each player $50", and his cash is insufficient (even after he sells hotels/houses and/or trade/mortgages properties), then whom is he bankrupt to? To whom must he hand over his remaining assets?
There are indeed no instructions in the official rules on how to resolve multiple payments. A common mechanism in game design to handle such cases is to pay your debts in turn order. You go bankrupt to the player who you cannot pay.
Example: turn order is Alice, Bob, Charlie, Daniel and Eve. It's Alice's turn and she is instructed to pay $50 to each player. Her entire liquid assets are $149. She pays $50 to Bob and Charlie, respectively, but since she's $1 short of paying the debt to Daniel, she goes immediately bankrupt and turns all her assets to Daniel. Eve gets nothing.
Turn order is clockwise, as indicated by the rules:
THE PLAY... [...] After you have completed your play, the turn passes to the left.
The assets are sold off and divided equally among the other players
This actually situation occurred in a Monopoly Tournement
"Phil Orbanes, who wrote The MONOPOLY Companion and is the official Judge at the World Championships provided me with this answer when it came up in tournament play a few months ago:
- If you cannot pay a debt to ONE player due to a card, you go bankrupt to that player and turn over all asset (std. procedure here).
- If you cannot pay a debt to TWO or MORE players (after calculating any money you could get from the bank by mortgaging and selling houses) due to a card, you go bankrupt to them all. The issue then becomes: fairness. How do you divide your assets as evenly as possible? Procedure: after selling any houses for 1/2 price to the bank, the bank then rebuys your properties at face value if unmortaged, or for 1/2 value if mortgaged. You divide the resulting cash as evenly as possible, with the player(s) to your left collecting any odd dollar(s). The bank then auctions all properties it purchased to the highest bidders."
Conclusion. The players may get a lot more than the 50$ that they were originally owed.
My play group treat this as being bankrupt while owing the Bank.
The reason for this is that the player collectively owes every player $50. If the whole collective cannot be payed then the player is bankrupt owing everyone. There is no way to equally distribute the assets so handle the redistribution by Auction.
We don't pay the other players the $50. The only effect is that the Bankrupt player is removed and the new auction occurs.
Like Leppy, I would play this situation as "the player goes bankrupt to the bank." That way, you don't have one player getting all the property just because of his/her position in the turn order when debt is "collective."
My answer differs from Leppy's insofar as I would have the bank pay $50 to each player (in this example) or otherwise satisfy the debt, so that all the players get what is owed them. In return, the bankrupt player forfeits all property to the bank (rather than to another player) and leaves. A real banker would usually be pleased with such an arrangement, to get someone's property back for small payments. A variation of the answer is that the property goes back to the bank, and the liquid assets (cash) are divided evenly between the other players (each gets more than $0, less than $50).
What goes on from here depends on what role you assign to the banker at this point. If you want a shorter, more "deterministic" game (based on the existing situation), the bank auctions off the properties one by one (although there are issues about the order of the auctions).* If you want "house rules" for a longer, more luck based game, the bank, having repossessed the bankrupt's properties, will sell them as the other players land on and buy them (or put them up for auction).
*Using the "auction" method, I would have an "order rule," either auction the properties alphabetically (Atlantic Ave. comes first, then Baltic and Boardwalk), or else from cheapest to most expensive.