Back in 2008, quarterback Michael Vick filed for bankruptcy protection, while serving time in prison for running an illegal dogfighting ring.
Less than seven years later, he’s paid off nearly $10 million to creditors he’s owed, reports ESPN.
While Vick hasn’t returned to the explosive quarterback he once was on the field, he’s comeback financially. The report says from 2010 to 2014, he stuck to a restrictive budget to pay back his creditors, during which he’s earned more than $49 million throughout four seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles and one with the New York Jets.
Joseph Luzinski, the senior VP of the liquidating trustee in Vick’s bankruptcy, tells ESPN that Vick has paid off more than $15 million (84.7 percent) of the $17.8 million he owed. And with a pending real estate asset set to be sold, his debt will be nearly paid off.
“What Michael did was the exception, not the rule,” Luzinski said. “He didn’t have to do this. The law allows you to skate by and pay your creditors 10 or 20 cents on the dollar, but he thought this was the right thing to do.”
Vick could’ve filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy, but chose to file Chapter 7 instead… because he didn’t want to stiff the people he owed.
“I didn’t want to stiff people who never stiffed me,” Vick told ESPN. “I feel blessed because I came out and found myself in a position where I had a lot of people that really believed in me, people who gave me an opportunity. At the time, it wasn’t about trying to fulfill all the bankruptcy needs. I was trying to fulfill all the needs that I had in my life because I had nothing.”
As part of his plan to pay back creditors, Vick was limited to living on a $300,000 budget, as 50 percent of his income went toward taxes and legal fees. “I had never been on a budget before, so I had to pay attention to everything that I was doing,” Vick said. “Now I realize that I don’t need certain things I bought back in the day, like a new boat.”
Both Vick and his wife Kijafa say money doesn’t have the same meaning to them anymore, essentially saying it’s not what makes them happy.
As for the future, Vick says after the debt is paid off at the end of December, he won’t spend money like he used to.