Although true Atlanta Falcons' fans would never admit any sort of unconscious satisfaction to be found from last Saturday's thorough trouncing at the hands of the Green Bay Packers, the defeat on consecutive weekends of the Eagles and Falcons in National Football League playoff games did at least eliminate the possibility that Atlanta would have to host Michael Vick in a championship game to decide the NFC's entrant for the Superbowl. Of all the catastrophes that the residents of Atlanta have been forced to suffer over the hundred and seventy five year history of the Georgia capital, the war of Northern aggression and Sherman’s willful arson would have to rank number one and two, but still: it is the idea of Michael Vick blazing a trail end zone to end zone that would make many a proud Georgian question life’s general fairness.

However commendable the steps that Michael Vick may have made toward restitution involving his credit card debt and similar obligations – and regardless of the most meaningful debt relief that he has already made (and could possibly make under the dint of Georgia or United States law) – the people of Atlanta shall likely always feel a certain degree of betrayal whenever they see the defenses quake as number seven juked and feinted. The actual lenders around the Atlanta metropolitan area may have a considerably more justifiable axe to grind with the in-arguably talented yet ethically challenged quarterback, and a cursory glance at the creditors' findings detailing Mr. Vick's activities the day he finally realized he could not avoid bankruptcy paints a stark and damning portrait of a soul adrift.

Before his imprisonment, Michael Vick was not behaving like anyone who would ever have to seek anything like debt settlement. His very first home, believe it or not, upon the beginning of his tenure with the Atlanta Falcons, was a $918,000 mansion located somewhere behind the same gates that open onto Sugarloaf Country Club, far beneath the Atlanta exurbs. It only took him two more years to upgrade his real estate to a massive house in the exact same neighborhood—featuring a full-room golf simulator and Spielberg-style movie screening room—setting him back a whopping $3.8 million. Between jewelry and vanity racing horses, he spent as much ($900,000) as on his first house. He bought a quarter million worth of boats, hundreds of thousands of dollars in cars. His various payments on debt relief, including payments to children and to his family’s debt settlement (no one ever said he was roundly awful), totaled into the tens of thousands each month.

Of course, Michael Vick never counted on losing his NFL career and going to prison; most people who get into credit card debt trouble do so because they either expect or futilely hope for more income in the future than they actually end up earning. Not surprisingly, once the NFL gravy train suddenly stopped upon Michael Vick’s arrest, he found himself in terrible credit card debt difficulties, which meant he had to look at debt settlement options in order to avoid bankruptcy. Vick had, shall we say, credibility issues; while he was riding high on the hog, far from thoughts of debt relief, he was known for flipping the bird to his own fans in Atlanta—long before he ended up jumping ship—and for making his scouts push him around on a wheelchair just for fun.

But here’s the point: you might feel awful about your credit card debt problems and FICO scores, you might think that you have no hope at a full rehabilitation in the eyes of your creditors or even the law, but if this man, if Michael Vick, Atlanta’s most prodigal son, has been able to achieve full financial and public rehabilitation, it doesn’t seem so far-fetched that you would also be able to achieve the same with appropriate attention to your debt settlement and debt negotiation options. If the hounds of creditors are barking at your door, these options are a heck of a lot more effective than even Michael Vick’s best Hail Mary.

Author's Bio: 

Cole Collins is a freelance writer in the field of personal finance with a concentration on consumer debt and debt management. For help with debt please visit