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Athletes filing for bankruptcy to ease financial burden

Pro athletes often make far more money than an average person in their lifetime. But, in some respects, these athletes are no different from Arizona residents who have faced financial difficulties for a variety of reasons. Though they come into millions of dollars in a short period of time, more and more athletes are filing for personalbankruptcy as early as five years into their career.

Sixty percent of NBA players are insolvent within five years of concluding their careers and 78 percent of NFL players are either facing financial difficulties or are bankrupt within two years of ending their careers. Though all athletes from all sports can face financial woes, basketball and football players have a disproportionate share of financial difficulties.

As a result of the recent NFL draft, more than 200 college students stand to welcome an instant change in lifestyle. Pro athletes differ from other professionals as the former have to downsize their finances after a few years of playing, whereas in other careers professionals anticipate an increase in their incomes and therefore increase their spending.

The average professional football player's career is slightly more than three years, yet they live well above their means. Besides buying big houses and fancy cars, they pick up expensive habits such as gambling and drinking. Even though football leagues provide workshops to deal with a player's addictions, their effectiveness is questionable. Some athletes collect rare cars and others generate huge tabs at jewelry stores. They also end up making spousal and child support payments, significantly cutting their disposable income.

Athletes also fall prey to major financial scams, such as the case where several members of a football team lost $20 million collectively before the fraud came to light.

Any person can face financial difficulties for a variety of reasons. Those struggling with mounting debt should not hesitate to contact a personal bankruptcy lawyer to discuss the available options to help them alleviate their financial concerns.

Source: Tucson Citizen, "Pro athletes can often struggle financially," Russ Wiles, April 21, 2012