DETROIT -- Former NFL and Michigan State wide receiver Andre
Rison faces a court-ordered bankruptcy to pay more than $105,000 in
back child support and other claims.
Terese Dear, a courtroom deputy for U.S. Bankruptcy Court in
Flint, said Tuesday that an order was entered June 6 to put Rison
into Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Rison, a Flint native whose NFL career spanned seven teams between 1989 and 2000, has
until June 25 to respond to the order before the court proceeds
with efforts to recover his assets, Dear said. The Flint Journal
reported on the court action Monday.
The former Pro Bowl receiver, who played for the Indianapolis Colts, Atlanta Falcons, Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville Jaguars, Green Bay Packers, Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders, owes child support, attorney fees and court administrative costs, according to a bankruptcy court petition.
Rison's ex-wife, Tonja Rison of Southfield, is listed as one of
the creditors on that petition. Her claim is for more than $58,000
in child support. An Atlanta law office is claiming another $46,000
in unpaid legal fees for seeking child support from Rison for two
children by a girlfriend.
The Genesee County friend of the court also is after $400 in
Rison's attorney, David Kallman of Lansing, said Tuesday that he
had no comment on the bankruptcy order.
Attorney David Findling was appointed a receiver by Genesee
County Circuit Court to go after child support when Andre and Tonja
Rison divorced in 1990. He is hoping to be named trustee in the
Findling said between $60,000 and $70,000 in the player's NFL
pension already has been liquidated for the Tonja Rison child
support case. His office also is going after a $100,000 severance
benefit Rison had in his final NFL contract with the Raiders.
That money had been claimed from the Raiders by the Internal
Revenue Service, but Findling said he sued and got the IRS to
release its levy. The Raiders then turned the severance over to a
California lawyer to disburse to Rison's creditors.
To Findling's knowledge, Rison has children in Kansas City, Mo.,
Georgia and Michigan. He said child support is owed in all three
Atlanta lawyer Randall Kessler represented Rison's former
girlfriend Raycoa Handley. He said his office spent 10 years trying
to collect child support for their two children who now are adults.
Kessler said his office was able to collect $125,597 from
Rison's NFL player annuity.
"That just covered child support," Kessler said.
The more than $46,000 due his office is for legal fees.
Kessler said he is concerned that Rison now owns very little
that can be liquidated through bankruptcy.
Rison spent nearly a month in a Georgia jail in 2005 for failing
to pay child support.
He entered the NFL in 1989 after playing college football at
Michigan State. From 1989 to 2000, he played for seven pro teams.
He played five games in the Canadian Football League when his NFL