Vick's lawyers say their client expects to play in NFL again
RICHMOND, Va. -- Imprisoned NFL quarterback Michael Vick expects to return to pro football, according to his bankruptcy attorneys who laid out a plan to pay creditors based in part on his anticipated earnings.
"The Debtor has every reason to believe that upon his release, he will be reinstated into the NFL, resume his career and be able to earn a substantial living," Vick's attorneys wrote in a disclosure statement filed before a hearing Thursday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Norfolk.
The former Atlanta Falcons star is serving a 23-month sentence in a federal penitentiary for bankrolling a dogfighting ring in rural Virginia and is scheduled to be released on July 20.
Once the NFL's highest-paid player, Vick has assets of $16 million and liabilities of $20.4 million, according to the court filing in which attorneys wrote in extraordinary detail about Vick's dizzying financial mess -- listing a fleet of vehicles, properties, businesses and the extended family he supported.
A Vick attorney said a committee representing all his debtors has proposed a plan to pay off his debt. A judge scheduled a hearing for mid-December on the appointment of a trustee, which Vick's attorneys oppose.
"The committee attorney acknowledged that there's been a lot of progress, so we're hopeful," Peter R. Ginsberg told The Associated Press.
Vick still faces two state felony counts -- dogfighting and animal cruelty. They carry maximum prison terms of 10 years, but under a plea deal, Vick would serve a suspended sentence and a year of probation.
He is scheduled to appear in Surry County Circuit Court on Nov. 25.
Paul K. Campsen, another Vick attorney in the bankruptcy proceeding, said he had not had any contact with the NFL, nor had Vick. While Vick still has a contract with the Falcons, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell would have the final say on his return, which he is counting on after he is released.
"That's the hope," Campsen said in an interview. "I think efforts will be made once we get past this."
The attorneys laid out a payment plan to Vick's creditors that includes expected NFL earnings and possible signing bonuses.
Campsen said the reorganization plan involves those expected payments and liquidation of his larger assets.
The assets include four homes in Virginia and Georgia valued at a total of $6 million; an interest in two farms; and an interest in more than 20 businesses, from a horse farm to liquor stores.
Ginsberg said if the sides can't agree in December, another hearing will be held in January. Vick was ordered to attend.
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press
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