Bankruptcy’s Beneficial Rules Ring True for One NFL Quarterback Skip to main content

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Bankruptcy’s Beneficial Rules Ring True for One NFL Quarterback

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We’ve written about many celebrity bankruptcies in the past several years. But few are more interesting than the bankruptcy of Charlie Batch.

According to the story in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Pittsburgh Steelers backup QB Charlie Batch filed for bankruptcy protection in December 2010, after his real estate venture defaulted on a $1.15M mortgage with Dollar Bank. Twenty-five properties held by Batch Development Company, Inc. associated with the mortgage default were placed into receivership. Court papers show that Batch was reportedly $6M in the hole at the time of his bankruptcy filing.

But the amount of debt Batch had managed to “batch together” at the time of his filing was not the newsworthy part of this personal bankruptcy story. Instead, the media fixated on the fact that a federal bankruptcy judge had lifted the automatic stay on Batch’s bankruptcy, allowing one of the two-time Super Bowl winner’s creditors to pursue an $820K claim against him. As is true in some personal bankruptcy cases, among the remedies available to the creditor was an option to seize collateral that backed what the debtor owed. What was more unusual in this case was that among that collateral was Batch’s two Super Bowl rings, valued between $20,000 and $40,000.

As Michael Klozotsky in a blog for Forbes magazine so eloquently put it, “It was not second-string Batch himself, nor the easy lure of celebrity bankruptcy, that gave rise to a slew of soft news articles and blogs on the subject in the last week. It was the inviolable nature of the rings themselves, not unlike Dorothy’s claret-colored pumps in the Wizard of Oz, which seemed to capture the attention of media-types. The SB rings and the ruby slippers sparkle. They both—at least according to a 2010 NFL on FOX commercial—possess miraculous transportive faculties.”

But all is not lost for the gridiron hero with the bling to match. Batch’s Chapter 7 bankruptcy has afforded him a second chance: a payment agreement with his creditors that may allow him to retain the precious rings, despite his poor real estate dealings.

“To me, the moral of the story is that poor or unlucky financial decisions affect many Americans, irrespective of fame. Or that “news” is not so much a collection of facts (lots of workaday people file for bankruptcy without making headlines), but instead a concoction of myth (the inscrutability of the rings),” said Klozotsky.

One other moral? Whether you’re a football star or an average Joe sixpack, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is great choice for those looking to dispense with debt—especially in a real estate transaction wherein one can lose a lot of money very quickly. With few exceptions, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a straightforward bankruptcy, as quick and generally inexpensive as you will find, as most of the debtor's debts are wiped out. Once an individual has qualified for a Chapter 7 personal bankruptcy, an individual may exit without debt in as little as four months.

Not happy with simply playing financial games? Want to score some major debt relief? If you find yourself facing insurmountable debt, it is essential to begin the bankruptcy process with assistance. An experienced bankruptcy attorney knows the ins and outs of the bankruptcy process and can assist throughout your case, freeing you of debt and putting you back on a level playing field to financial solvency. Contact the Law Offices of John T. Orcutt in North Carolina TODAY for a totally FREE debt consultation. Just call toll free to 1-888-234-4181, or make your appointment online at www.billsbills.com. Simply click on the yellow “FREE Consultation Now” button.

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