There used to be a stigma about bankruptcy, but that stigma is long-since gone. In today’s economy, people from every walk of life have filed for bankruptcy to get relief from overwhelming debt. Now it has been announced that even former football stars have turned to bankruptcy.
On Thursday, Dave Duerson left a note behind asking that his brain be tested for chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) before he committed suicide. The 50-year-old former NFL star was experiencing many personal struggles before his death, including financial problems. In September of last year, he filed for bankruptcy after a series of unfortunate financial struggles.
Just like many people, Duerson found himself unable to pay his credit card bill, mortgage and other debts. However, his road to bankruptcy was unique. After his football career, Duerson purchased multiple McDonald’s franchises. Later, he sold the restaurants to purchase a sausage company that supplied meat to McDonald’s.
The outlook was positive, and Duerson’s food company built a state-of-the-art meat production plant. However, the opening of the plant was delayed because of freezer problems. Those problems caused the bank to revoke his line of credit for the company.
Duerson took out a second mortgage on his home to get things started at the meat company. In the meantime, he sued the freezer company and was awarded a judgment for $34 million in 2004. But the freezer company has yet to pay him.
Now, the man was left with two mortgages on his home and mounting bills. The bankruptcy filing listed $34.6 million in assets, but much of that is made up of the judgment owed to him by the freezer company. He also listed nearly $15 million in liabilities. Those liabilities are owed to secured and unsecured creditors such as the mortgage lender, his former spouse, the State of Wisconsin and a bank that issued him a credit card.
This story is an example of how even a successful NFL star can find himself facing financial problems that are not entirely of his own making.
Source: Chicago Breaking Business, “Bears’ Duerson had pending personal bankruptcy,” Becky Yerak, 21 Feb 2011