December 9, 2019

Even the Rich and Famous Sometimes file Bankruptcy

A great deal of his earnings went into simple aesthetics, and he made his real-estate purchases during the housing crash. Sapp’s intention was to construct and run a low-income housing project, but even after completion, nearly every home went unsold. Sapp’s real-estate purchases were very rushed, and ultimately led to his downfall – before long, he was selling his overpriced paintings to try to break even. The simple lesson to learn from this story is to think out your purchases and do not assume that you will always be able to dodge ups and downs in the marketplace.  Sapp’s real-estate purchases resulted in 100 percent of his wages being garnished – every penny earned at the NFL network went to his debt. If you invest any amount of money into a project, be prepared to lose that money – if not, the consequences could be dire.  If a great deal of your income is going to an unstable project, or if you’re just wasting money on frivolous things, you’re going to be at higher risk for bankruptcy.

Another example to consider is the case of Leigh Steinberg.  Once known as one of the top agents for the NFL (and the inspiration for the fictional sports agent Jerry McGuire), Steinberg fell victim to alcoholism and negligence. Despite urging from his friends and family, he continued to blow money lavishly, and spent his days drinking. Steinberg’s descent into bankruptcy occurred after he built up his business. Feeling secure with his success, he began to neglect his business, and ultimately filed for bankruptcy because he ignored his family’s attempts to help. It is important to never let your guard down when it comes to financial issues, because you never know when things could go awry. If you spend enormously, ignore your family’s attempt to help, and neglect your business, you’re going to run into problems.

Falling into massive debt can happen to anyone, even to people who once owned mansions and had million dollar bank accounts.  Hopefully, Warren Sapp and Leigh Steinberg have used bankruptcy as a financial tool that will provide for a fresh start both personally and financially.  Hopefully, we’ll see news stories in a few months or years that report about Mr. Sapp’s and Mr. Steinberg’s recovery from bankruptcy.

I always make the point of telling my clients that bankruptcy should not be seen as a permanent setback.  Instead, view bankruptcy as a financial tool that will cause pain in the short run but over time will put you in a much more stable position to move forward with your life.  More importantly, if you file a bankruptcy case, think about the decisions that put you there and make the necessary changes in your life to avoid those choices in the future.

If you are facing debt that is unmanageable, please don’t hesitate to call me at 770-393-4985.

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About Jonathan

Jonathan Ginsberg represents honest, hardworking men and women in the Atlanta area who need personal bankruptcy protection. In practice for over 25 years, Jonathan teaches bankruptcy law and practice at legal continuing education seminars and he is a founding member of the Bankruptcy Law Network. Jonathan lives with his wife and children in Atlanta.

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