Around 2004, Leibovitz started taking out a number of loans while she tried to get her financial house in order. She ended up selling some properties -- including a photo studio for $11.4 million -- but she has also borrowed heavily against her other properties and the money apparently wasn't enough.
Finally, in September 2008, she turned to Art Capital Group, the company the Times called a pawnbroker, to consolidate all her loans. The company, which specializes in making loans to owners of high end art work, charges interest rates of 6 percent to 16 percent.
To secure her loan, Leibovitz put up her homes, which are estimated to be worth around $40 million, and -- more importantly -- the rights to her work, also valued at about $40 million.
In a lawsuit, Art Capital Group alleged that Leibovitz breached her contract with the company by refusing to allow real estate experts into her homes to appraise their value and by blocking the company from selling her photographs.
Her most famous images include a photograph of John Lennon taken hours before he was assassinated and a nude portrait of a pregnant Demi Moore for the cover of Vanity Fair.
One possible option that was being rumored was that that Leibovitz could file for personal bankruptcy, which would leave it up to a judge to sort out her debts and the rights over her work. Friday's announcement buys her at least some more time.