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Former NFL star Warren Sapp files for chapter 7 bankruptcy

This blog has previously reported the stories of former professional athletes who have sought bankruptcy protection. In several instances, the former pro athletes owned championship rings that were auctioned off during the bankruptcy case. Sources say that chapter 7 bankruptcy papers, which were filed March 30, indicate that a former NFL player's 2002 Super Bowl ring and his 1991 NCAA championship ring were lost years ago.

Warren Sapp filed for chapter 7 bankruptcy and listed his assets and liabilities. Any bankruptcy petition includes the debtor's assets and liabilities. Cincinnati bankruptcy lawyers know that the accuracy of a bankruptcy petition is vital. Leaving out a creditor, for example, may leave that debt intact after a discharge. But it is also important to note that accuracy in the petition is vitally important for purposes of avoiding bankruptcy fraud.

Most individuals do not have luxurious assets like many former professional athletes. And many commentators say that most people filing personal bankruptcy do not own assets that are not exempt, meaning little or nothing is liquidated in a bankruptcy case. Chapter 13 bankruptcies also allow debtors to retain assets that exceed the allowable exemptions under the law.

In Warren Sapp's chapter 7 bankruptcy petition, sources say that he lists more than $6.7 million owed to creditors. Among his listed assets is nearly $6,500 of Jordan athletic shoes. It appears from media reports that some of Sapp's financial issues may not be dischargeable in chapter 7 bankruptcy. Sapp reportedly owes money for back child support and alimony.

Although support payments are generally not dischargeable in bankruptcy, a person who is buried under a mountain of debt and owes debts, like child support, student loan debt or back taxes that may not be dischargeable in chapter 7, may benefit from filing for bankruptcy. Relieving the dischargeable debts may often make the non-dischargeable debts more manageable.

In other cases, a person may be able to make headway on past due debts, like mortgage or student loan debts among others, during a chapter 13 bankruptcy. An experienced Ohio bankruptcy lawyer can help an individual to understand what options may be available under the bankruptcy code in individual circumstances.

Source: USA Today, "Warren Sapp files for bankruptcy in Florida," Associated Press, April 7, 2012

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