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Glitz and Bankruptcy

California has long been known for its glitz. It is the home of the stars; the weather is incredible, along with the palm trees, the beaches, etc. It is also a destination for the wealthy to have second homes. In fact, a significant number of current and former professional athletes call California home.

A recent study found that former NFL players have a bankruptcy filing rate that is 15 times more than the national average. Many of those players reside in California and therefore file for bankruptcy in the Golden State.

The question is, why do so many former NFL players end up in California Bankruptcy Court to alleviate themselves from debt? Conventional wisdom tells us that a player should figure that he has a limited amount of years to play professional sports, especially in a league like the NFL. Therefore, he should consider the long-term ramifications of how he spends his money. It would be wise to place most of his money into safe investments while diversifying his portfolio. Yet that does not seem to be the case in many instances.


One theory is that concussions, which affect the brain, contribute to poor financial decisions. While the NFL provides players with training about handling their money and there is a concussion protocol, concussions still exist and may be linked to poor decision making. This theory, however, is just a theory. While the NFL is a violent sport and there is significant amounts of head crashing, it is still unclear how much that affects decision making and brain function. This is a serious point but, for now, remains an unknown.

Competitive Nature

NFL players and other sports professionals tend to be very competitive. They likely only made it to the professional ranks because they are competitive. Putting so many men with high salaries in the same locker room, the theory goes, leads to high levels of competition both on and off the field. They do not just compete for a starting spot; they also compete with their cars and their watches. This culture of peer pressure compels many of them to just spend what they have or spend what they do not have.

Does it make sense for a sixth round pick on his rookie contract to purchase a $180,000 car? In general, NFL contracts are not guaranteed, so the lifestyle that is here today can easily go tomorrow. Such decisions are often nonsensical and hurt a player’s long-term prospects.

As mentioned, there are former star football players who are bankrupt or have significant financial issues. It is difficult for a person who had so much success to just file for bankruptcy. Prophylactically, controlling spending as a player and saving for retirement and creating a plan for life after football is the proper way to handle stardom. Nonetheless, California Bankruptcy Courts are no strangers to professional athletes utilizing the United States Bankruptcy Code for personal debts.

In debt? Bankruptcy may be right for you. Contact the debt relief law firm of Melanie Tavare, a Bay-area debt relief attorney.


"Melanie is the best she very responsive and helpful throughout the process everything was taken care of smoothly. If you are thinking of going through bankruptcy she is the best attorney for you. I will forever be grateful having the chance to work with her. She is very honest too."


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"What I liked about working with Melanie was how prompt and easy to work with she was. She made the process clear and understandable with as little stress as possible. I would work with her again and recommend her to others."