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Chapter 7 bankruptcy offers fresh financial start for coach

People in New Jersey from all different walks of life know that sometimes a financial situation can degrade to the point that seeking bankruptcy protection is one of the few good choices left for an individual. This was the case recently for one coach of a major college football team. The coach sought Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection after investments in real estate failed due to the slow economy and depressed real estate market.

The coach reports that he has between $1 million and $10 million in assets. Though a large number by many standards, it must be viewed relative to his reported $10 to 50 million in debts owed. The coach recently signed a new contract with a major college that will pay him $850,000 for a 10-month period this year.

According to the Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing, the coach's debts began to accumulate after he invested in multiple land purchases. When the real estate market declined due to the recession, he and many others lost money. The land purchases were made between 1998 and 2002, according to court records.

Like many New Jersey residents learned during the recent economic downturn, it can be difficult to weather a significant financial storm during a prolonged recession. This is particularly true for those who have invested large sums of money in an asset of declining value. But when debt becomes overwhelming, making the decision to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy can allow for the discharge of a many types of debt, and can provide people with a fresh financial start.

Source: The Salt Lake Tribune, "Ex-Weber State coach John L. Smith files for bankruptcy," Chuck Bartels, Sept. 6, 2012

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