NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — A judge approved Michael Vick’s plan Thursday to repay creditors who are owed US$20 million and emerge from bankruptcy on the same day he was scheduled to return to the playing field with the Philadelphia Eagles.
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Frank Santoro said while Vick is “at the pinnacle of his profession,” he has proven unable to manage his finances in the past and ordered him to retain a financial planner as a condition of the plan. The plan was overwhelmingly approved in a ballot of creditors.
Vick, 29, hustled away from the courthouse with his fiancee, Kijafa Frink, to catch a flight back to Philadelphia and make his debut with the Eagles in a pre-season game.
“I’m happy it’s over. I can move on with my life,” Vick said.
“I’m excited about the game,” he said. Asked if he was nervous, he said, “Not at all.”
The plan approved by Santoro was supported by all creditors or representatives in court, save for one creditor owed $13,000. It hinges on Vick liquidating an estimated $9 million in assets, including houses, boats and high-end sport utility vehicles. He would not have to pay creditors during the first year with the Eagles.
Future payments would depend on Vick’s salary, with creditors getting payments based on how much Vick earns. The Eagles have a $5.2-million option for next year, not including incentives.
Vick was released from federal custody July 20 after serving 18 months of a 23-month sentence for his role in running a dogfighting ring.
Creditors ranging from banks holding mortgages on Vick houses to his former team, the Atlanta Falcons, endorsed Vick’s plan to repay them.
A lawyer representing one group of creditors on Wednesday called Vick’s signing by the Eagles “a huge development in the case.”