Las Vegas, NV- Former Oakland Athletics player Jose Canseco recently filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, according to the Las Vegas Sun.
In the court documents, Canseco listed his assets at just $21,000, considerably less than his liabilities which were listed at $1.7 million. The former MVP owes the IRS $506,000.
Under Chapter 7, a bankruptcy structure that requires the filer to liquidate, or sell off their assets in order to pay back creditors, qualifying income taxes can be discharged. Back taxes that don’t qualify must still be paid, but the IRS will often allow the debtor to enter an installment plan.
After a bankruptcy attorney has satisfied their client’s creditors, much of their remaining debt will be dismissed by the court, giving the filer a clean slate, though their credit will be affected.
Canseco, who admitted to doping later in his career made million while he was at the peak of his career. He also wrote two best-selling novels and has recently taken a job as a columnist for multi-platform media brand Vice.
Sports figures are no strangers to financial problems. According to Sports Illustrated, 78 of NFL players are bankrupt or face financial problems three years after they retire. The reasons pro athletes face financial ruin are numerous.
Pro athletes have relatively short careers and when they get million dollar contracts they often spend their money on lavish homes and luxury vehicles without considering that once they retire their income will drop significantly.
Athletes are also vulnerable to the people around and can be convinced to shell out money for unsound business decisions. Legal costs, hobbies, and interests can also be a drain on their significant incomes.