49 year old Boris Becker has experienced the height of achievements that any sports professional could ever desire to obtain: six grand-slam tennis titles, five year-end championships, 13 Master Series titles, and even an Olympic gold medal in doubles tennis. The German born tennis champion Boris Becker reportedly amassed a whopping $63 million in prize money and sponsorship deals over the course of his illustrious career. Unfortunately, he wasn’t as good with money as he was with a tennis racket and declared bankruptcy in British court this summer. How did this fall-from-grace story happen and if multi-millionaire sports stars can’t avoid bankruptcy how can any normal Joe?
From Boom-Boom to Bust
Boris Becker, later knick-named “Boom-Boom Boris”, was the youngest player ever to win the Wimbledon tennis championship in London at the tender age of 17. With both sponsorships and women flooding Becker’s life in abundance, he soon became known for his on the court antics and off the court scandals. With all the fame and glory coming at such an early age it appears that Becker fell into the all too familiar cliché of too much off a good thing being bad. The first step towards his windfall was a lengthy and bitter divorce battle with his first wife which ended up costing Becker $25 million, his condo in Miami, and custody of his two children. Just a few years later, Becker was charged with tax evasion to the tune of $2 million. Later, after retiring from professional Tennis, Mr. Becker set out on a series of failed business ventures including a sports website, an organic food business, and a high-rise business tower in Dubai that went broke in 2011.
Tennis Champion in Debt
Fast forward to 2017, and Boris Backer is 49 and carrying a debt load reported to the bankruptcy court of over $50 million. Once one of the richest men in the sports world, he reports assets of only $500,000 after the divorce, failed businesses, and profligate living. The bankruptcy court ordered his assets and property to be liquidated in order to pay back his debts, which include a hefty sum of money he owes a private bank. The positive news that comes from the story is Becker’s upbeat attitude, and while he says it’s hard to believe that he squandered so much wealth, that he wants to use bankruptcy laws to get another chance to pay back his debtors. Boris Becker also claims that he isn’t completely broke and that he is optimistic about his future advertising deals and business ventures surrounding his tennis legacy. He also claimed in court, that he could still satisfy his creditors by refinancing his luxurious Spanish villa to the tune of $6.7 million.
Bankruptcy shouldn’t be viewed as a defeat necessarily, rather, a second chance at getting temporary debt relief in order to formalize a plan to pay back creditors. Debt affects everyone from time to time; even multi-millionaires. If you are currently struggling with debt that you can’t pay back, filing bankruptcy can save your home, your property, and give you the debt relief you need to set the record straight.