Every American is familiar with Michael Vick’s story on some level. The pro football player has been in hot water for years, most notably for his extensive dog-fighting ring, which has incensed dog lovers everywhere, and made Vick one of the most hated football players in recent history.
His dog-fighting business did more damage to just his professional and personal reputation, however. After serving prison time for animal cruelty and a host of other charges, Vick was released and placed on a reorganization plan to pay off his creditors–his former team the Atlanta Falcons among them. Since his release, he has earned $31 million playing football, and has spent over $29 million of it.
While that may sound like the actions of an irresponsible man with too much money, the truth is that the majority is going to his creditors and taxes. Two-thirds of his income are going to creditors, and he has an allotment of $300,000 per year for living expenses. For a professional athlete on a multi-million dollar contract, that allotment, compared to his earnings, points to serious financial troubles.
Bankruptcy doesn’t have to shave your earnings by 70%, and it doesn’t have to break you financially. There are laws in place to protect borrowers, even those who make the difficult decision to file bankruptcy. While Vick’s situation may seem like the worst-case scenario, the truth is that most bankruptcies allow for the individual to make good on his or her debts while still living a normal life. It’s very important to have knowledgeable, reputable legal counsel on your side to make sure you get fair treatment and can rebuild your financial stability.