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Jamal Lewis bankruptcy hearing postponed by bankruptcy trustee

Former NFL running back Jamal Lewis, who ended his professional football career playing in Cleveland, has filed for bankruptcy protection. Lewis reportedly filed for bankruptcy April 4 in his home state. He is seeking reorganization in a bankruptcy case similar to that found under chapter 13 bankruptcy for working families in Ohio.

Sources say that Lewis has fallen into financial trouble, based in part on the economy. The former running back has amassed more than $10 million in debts. The former pro football player reportedly had made investments in failed real estate ventures and a trucking company that is now shuttered.

The bankruptcy case was scheduled for a hearing this week in Atlanta to determine how the case should proceed, but that hearing was reportedly delayed at the request of the bankruptcy trustee.

News reports indicate that Lewis fell behind in submitting necessary financial documents to the bankruptcy court and the bankruptcy trustee overseeing the case. Lewis reportedly failed to appear for a scheduled interview with court officials in the bankruptcy.

In May, the bankruptcy trustee asked the bankruptcy court to either dismiss the bankruptcy case altogether, or convert the case from a reorganization to a chapter 7 bankruptcy. A hearing was scheduled for Tuesday for the bankruptcy court to hear arguments and make a ruling. However, sources indicate that the bankruptcy trustee asked for a delay, due to progress in the case.

Reuters reports that the trustee says Lewis has apparently been cooperating with the trustee in getting the financial documents together. The trustee says that Lewis has shown signs of complying with the bankruptcy court rules. The bankruptcy trustee apparently has agreed to give Lewis more time to compile the financial records.

The hearing has been delayed, but the court may still dismiss if Lewis does not comply with the bankruptcy court requirements.

Lewis is not the first pro athlete to seek bankruptcy protection. This blog has reported stories on the issue of athletes and bankruptcy in previous posts. But bankruptcy relief is not something only available for celebrities and athletes. Many Ohio families have been hit hard by the recession, and the reports of a potential recovery have not necessarily helped many Cincinnati residents get out from under a mountain of debt.

Those who are continuing to experience financial distress can speak to an experienced Ohio bankruptcy attorney to learn what options may be available under the nation's bankruptcy laws.

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