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Each day individuals throughout the nation decide to take control of their difficult financial situation by filing for bankruptcy. People from a variety of backgrounds choose this path including, as it turns out, a fair number of professional athletes. In the past we have written about professional athletes like Warren Sapp, Antoine Walker, Jose Canseco and Curt Schilling who have found themselves in this position.

Statistics support this. Sports Illustrated reports that 60 percent of NBA players will find that they are out of money five years after going into retirement. Retired NFL players don’t fare any better. Within two years of retiring, 78 percent of these players face financial difficulty sometimes resulting in filing for bankruptcy.

There are multiple reasons for these statistics including:

  • Improper financial guidance
  • Coming into large amounts of money at a young age
  • Bowing to pressure from teammates to purchase big ticket items

While the large amounts of money that many athletes receive upon signing a contract place them in a unique situation not often experienced by others at that age, their downfalls often prove to be downfalls to the average person as well. Accordingly, we can all learn from their examples.

Whatever the reason for financial difficulty and no matter how powerless an individual may feel, it is important to recognize that in most cases there are options available. Those exact options vary depending on the specific circumstances surrounding the financial difficulty but may include Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Many professional athletes have taken advantage of these options to gain a fresh financial start.

Source: FOXBusiness, “Why Athletes Go Broke,” Kathryn Buschman Vasel, Feb. 1, 2013