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Bankruptcy will not clear past-due child support, alimony

Television sports analyst and former NFL defensive tackle Warren Sapp has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Reports indicate he owes more than $6.7 million to creditors and, it seems, his ex-wife. When the couple divorced in 2007, Sapp agreed to pay $15,000 per month to support for his two children and another $45,000 per month in spousal maintenance. In February, his ex-wife filed court documents that stated Sapp owed her and their children more than $700,000.

Sapp listed assets of $6.45 million in his bankruptcy filing. His average monthly income is roughly $115,000. With his television contract scheduled to wrap in August, Sapp may be facing a reduction in income. In fact, he petitioned a family court in February to lower his monthly maintenance and support payments based on his changed financial circumstances.

Bankruptcy filings include the particulars of a debtor's assets, and Sapp's will likely be reported for some time to come. His 240 pairs of Jordan athletic shoes are valued at approximately $6,500. He owns a lion skin rug that's worth $1,200. He has a $2,250 watch, too.

What's important to remember, of course, is that generally personal bankruptcy -- either chapter 7 or chapter 13 -- does not wipe out child support or alimony obligations. Sapp will probably be responsible for both the amount he hasn't paid and the amount he must pay in the future.

We'll get into that more in our next post.

Source: SunTimes.com, "Warren Sapp files for bankruptcy; assets include 240 pairs of Jordans," Associated Press, April 9, 2012

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