Trump Entertainment Resorts Inc. returned to bankruptcy court for the third time Tuesday, to protect itself from rising debt.

Bondholders had threatened to force the company, which most recently emerged from Chapter 11 protection in 2005, to file again, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

Bondholders had papers ready to initiate an involuntary proceeding, the newspaper said.

Billionaire developer Donald Trump, who holds 28 percent of the company's stock, resigned from his role as chairman of the board Friday. Trump's daughter, Ivanka Trump, also removed herself from the board, the Journal said.

Company stock has fallen from more than $4 a share a year ago to around 23 cents a share.

"Some time ago, I made an offer to buy the company in the hopes that I might be able to reverse its fortunes but the bondholders turned me down," Trump said in a recent statement.

"Now I will study and watch as the horrible and outrageous fees being paid to lawyers and consultants will suck the blood from the company," he said, adding someday "I hope to return."