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Former pro athlete files for bankruptcy

Arizona residents who watch sports may think pro athletes have it all: the fun, the fame and the finances. They may even dream of ending up like them one day. However, they may not be aware of a disturbing trend on the rise among professional athletes: financial difficulty.

According to a Sports Illustrated survey in 2009, 78 percent of former NFL players were either bankrupt or on the brink within two years of retirement. The situation is similar for NBA players within five years from retirement. Although Arizona residents may not be able to understand many aspects of an athlete's life, financial difficulties and bankruptcy may be a scenario all too familiar.

The latest NFL player to declare bankruptcy is Vince Young, a 30-year-old football player on top of his game merely eight years ago when he was declared "inVINCEable." However, with a bankruptcy petition claiming his assets are less than $1 million and his liabilities are between more than $1 million and $10 million, he is the most recent athlete to succumb to financial pressure. The matter that may have tipped the athlete into bankruptcy is a pair of loans equaling $1.8 million on which the interest alone is more than $2.5 million.

Bankruptcy is a legal protection offered to those who are struggling with their finances and want to attain a new financial start. There are various forms of bankruptcy a person can file, and an experienced bankruptcy may be able to assist Arizona residents determine which type best suits their circumstances. An attorney may also be able to help individuals take advantage of the extensive list of bankruptcy exemptionsthe state has to offer, which includes homestead, personal property and retirement benefits exemptions.

Source: The Houston Chronicle, "Vince Young joins many ex-NFL players who see bankruptcy," David Barron, Jan. 22, 2014