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The possibility of losing one’s job can create financial and emotional stress. When working individuals in Florida have a mortgage to pay, a family to take care of and other debts, a loss or cut in pay can be detrimental. A former quarterback for the Jacksonville Jaguars announced that he has filed for bankruptcy protection because of the uncertainty of his career with the National Football League.

Mark Brunell filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on June 25 with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Jacksonville, Florida. A disclosure statement was filed earlier this month regarding Brunell’s bankruptcy reorganization plan that suggests that the 2010-11 NFL season with the New York Jets may have been the player’s last. Because the football player has made several real estate and business investments over the past few years, the disclosure claims the failure of the business ventures has caused the player’s financial problems.

In the June 2010 bankruptcy filing, Brunell listed assets of $5.5 million and liabilities of $24.7 million. The majority of the debt is believed to be related to the player’s business expenses. Because Brunell’s future as an NFL player is in question, bankruptcy lawyers anticipate that the 40-year-old man’s expenses will exceed his income over the next few years.

By filing Chapter 11, Brunell hopes to reorganize his debt while keeping some of his assets. Brunell commented in a statement regarding his decision to file bankruptcy saying, “After much deliberation and many years of shouldering an enormous amount of debt resulting from passive real estate investments, it has become clear that this is the only viable course of action.” Creditors and the bankruptcy court must approve the football player’s reorganization plan before the bankruptcy can proceed.

Although corporations or individuals with higher levels of assets and liabilities typically file for Chapter 11, individuals in similar situation may benefit from filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection. In the state of Florida, an individual’s home, furnishings and some accounts may be protected from claims from creditors. This allows some individuals to keep assets such as homes and cars while they liquidate and reorganize other assets and liabilities without worrying about collections or foreclosure.


Jacksonville Daily Record: “Brunell files bankruptcy reorganization plan,” Karen Brune Mathis, 6 Apr. 2011