By Kyle Olson
Former NFL running back Jamal Lewis, a vital part of the 2001 Super Bowl Champion Ravens, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, according to the Baltimore Sun.
Lewis was the 5th overall pick in the 2000 draft and is the Baltimore Ravens all-time leading rusher.
He is one of only five players in the NFL to rush for more than 2,000 yards in a season. Lewis rushed for 2,066 yards in 2003.
According to bankruptcy documents in Georgia, Lewis has assets of around $14.5 million and owes creditors about $10.5 million.
The documents also state that Lewis claims to be self-employed and pulls in nearly $35,000 a month in income.
Among the ex-NFL player’s assets that are listed are five homes, a 401k valued at $500,000, ownership in a water park in Ohio valued at $6 million, and a Super Bowl ring worth $17,500.
According to the records, Lewis is expected to have the funds necessary to pay his unsecured creditors.
Creditors listed in the court documents include a lien from Bank of America for $947,876, Mercedes-Benz for $113,000, and Chrysler for $15,000.
According to NBC Sports, Lewis chose the “non-Chapter 7 route with good reason”, stating that due to his net worth’s large amount ($4 million more than what he owes) he chose the Chapter 11 process instead.
TMZ, the website that first reported the bankruptcy filing, states that by filing Chapter 11 Lewis can keep most of what he has while negotiating and reduced and extended payments to each of his creditors.
Despite a very healthy net worth, the problem lies in liquidity of funds.
With nearly $14 million tied up in ‘things’, Jamal Lewis cannot pay his bills.
Bankruptcy Booming For Pro Ballers
It seems as if the trend of multimillion dollar athletes filing for bankruptcy has continued.
Fellow ex-NFL star Warren Sapp filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy earlier this year.
Other notable athletes who’ve recently filed for bankruptcy include Allen Iverson, Terrell Owens, Dennis Rodman, Antoine Walker and Lenny Dykstra.
To the average American, seeing wealthy athletes and celebrities who have squandered large fortunes can be frustrating to see. Many are dumbfounded about the logistics of blowing millions of dollars only to end up in bankruptcy court.
However, experts say there may be some reasons why this trend seems to ring true for a number of star athletes.
For one, these athletes enter the professional world of sports at a very young age (typically around 18 years old). You can only imagine what it must be like to receive a check for millions of dollars at that age.
Money management is something that young athletes may have never been privy to and when a financial windfall hits, the athlete is unsure of how to secure a long-term fortune.
Experts also say that many of the athletes who fall on tough times after obtaining large amounts of wealth often become prone to spending on luxury items.
Despite the trend of celebrity bankruptcy, the writing is on the wall and experts say that young athletes and celebrity figures should consult their peers before lavishly spending their wealth away.