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Former NBA player explains why he filed for Chapter 7

Tennessee has several popular sports teams with fans throughout the state. It is common for people young and old alike to look up to athletes and be impressed with their talent while simultaneously feeling a slight pang of jealousy at the amount of money they make and lavish lifestyles they're able to live. What's missed is how many of these athletes spend unwisely and make financial mistakes to the point where they're struggling with debt and eventually have to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

The former NBA star Antoine Walker earned $108 million in his playing career, but after his career ended he quickly lost it all. Mr. Walker filed for Chapter 7 in 2010. Functioning under the belief that he had enough money to spend what he wanted and not have to worry about it, he functioned as a cash machine for family and friends. According to him, he lived expensively and gave financial gifts to more than 30 members of his family as well as friends to help them. He now believes he was taken advantage of. He gambled, he invested poorly, and eventually was in debt to the tune of more than $20 million. After his bankruptcy, he has taken steps to shore up his personal situation while trying to impart his in-the-trenches wisdom to young people who might be on the way to making similar errors.

Financial troubles don't just happen to those who are working day-to-day and living paycheck-to-paycheck and might have gotten in over their heads. It can happen to anyone. Chapter 7 is a tactic that is not an admission of failure, but a sound strategy to get debt relief and move forward without the albatross of constant worry, endless phone calls, and the possibility of losing everything. Unsecured debt can be discharged after a successful filing for Chapter 7. This includes credit cards, high-interest loans, and medical expenses.

One of the major keys to a Chapter 7 case is making certain the process is done correctly. Having an experienced legal professional go through the process and provide guidance is one of the most effective ways to secure debt relief through Chapter 7. When thinking about filing for Chapter 7, calling an attorney to discuss the matter is a smart first step.

Source:, "$108 Million to Bust: How NBA's Antoine Walker Went Bankrupt," Erica Baum, July 27, 2015

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