In a statistic that proves that bankruptcy can happen to everyone, the National Bureau of Economic Research reports that a startling number of retired football players have filed for bankruptcy protection in recent years. Poor money management, over-extended debts and legal issues have forced 15.7 percent of all retired players into bankruptcy after 12 years.
The number is startling for many reasons, perhaps the biggest one is that we think of pro football players as making ridiculous sums of money for keeping fans entertained. Interestingly enough, when you hear the most common cause for NFL player bankruptcy filings, you’ll see that the size of one’s paycheck doesn’t make much difference when it comes to fiscal responsibility.
Players have reported that they had to file for bankruptcy protection because they failed to properly save for the future. Recruited many times right out of high school, players have no experienced in money management. They also tend to have “handlers” who may not always make best-interest decisions on their behalf.
One of the most egregious examples is the unfortunate case of professional hockey player Jack Johnson who gave power of attorney to his mother prior to signing a $30 million contract. Apparently, she spent most of his money without him knowing and he was forced to file Chapter 11. He was keeping his eye on the ball, so to speak, not his checkbook.
At the end of the day, the truth is that people are people – no matter how much money they make, or don’t make. When the money runs out and bills are piling up, it really doesn’t matter how big your nest egg started out to be. The US Bankruptcy Code really doesn’t know the difference.
If you are facing financial ruin, take stock of the reality of your situation. You are far from alone; many people fall into debt and need assistance getting a more sound financial footing. That’s where an experienced bankruptcy lawyer comes into play.
The Law Offices of Joel R. Spivack has decades of experience helping clients meet the challenges of bankruptcy head on. We will provide sound legal guidance every step of the way of the bankruptcy process. And, we will advise you about re-establishing your credit and focusing on your fresh financial start.