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NFL Players Seek "Lockout Loans" as 22% Live Paycheck to Paycheck

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DailyFeed reports that "players from at least 16 [NFL] teams have already sought out extremely aggressive short-term loans with high interest rates" as the league's lockout continues.

Though the NFL Players Association is helping those in financial trouble with payouts as high as $60,000, that is reportedly nowhere near enough to tide over many in the league -- particularly the "380 of the NFL's near 1,700 players [who] still live paycheck to paycheck," as MSNBC claimed recently, citing "financial experts familiar with the league."

Bart Scott of the New York Jets was quoted as saying that "many players are going to be hurting," especially the "young guys" who "see what the older guys have, and they’re not there yet. They’re trying to catch up and keep up with the Joneses.”

While the Players Association advised its members to set aside three game checks during the 2010 season in the event of a lockout, it appears that advice went largely unheeded. So, to maintain their lavish lifestyles, the loan-seeking NFLers have turned to lenders willing to provide enough cash to get by until the labor dispute is settled.

"There are a lot of people out there pitching these things," an attorney who has advised players on such loans told on the condition of anonymity. "It’s almost predatory lending. It's people going to guys who they know are already in debt, or don’t have the ability to pay their bills during the year and [lending them money] at such obscene terms, that you say, 'Hey, no one would ever sign something like this.' But a lot of players are."

ThePostGame explains that "some players simply don't qualify for loans from traditional lenders, which typically generate interest in the range of 3.25 to 10 percent," and,  "in the absence of lending from traditional institutions, sports-specific lenders have begun to fill the void in the market."

Darien Dash, Managing Director/Sports of Pro Player Funding -- and cousin of Roc-a-Fella Records co-founder Damon Dash -- is a relative newcomer to the athletic loan industry. But he has arranged short-term loans for "several guys" in the NFL.

Dash, however, is far from the only one in an increasingly crowded field:

The Chapes-JPL website touts its "Athlete and Entertainer Division" with the following pitch:

Helping retired and retiring athletes and entertainers restructure there [sic] assets after the large paychecks.

Most pro athletes and entertainers go from having very little to enormous wealth. A lot of them buy assets that banks don't value, and when their contracts end or they retire, they have to adjust their life style. Chapes JPL helps with bridge loans against those assets such as high end cars, jewelry, art, collectables, and memorabilia. These bridge loans are designed to provide intstant cash while the athlete or entertainer restructures their lifestyle.

Then there's Big League Funding, "The preferred lending source for professional athletes!"

Big League Funding, LLC provides short-term loans with flexible terms to professional athletes with signed player contracts in the National Basketball Association (NBA), National Football League (NFL), Major League Baseball (MLB) and the National Hockey League (NHL).

Big League Funding offers:

• Loans up to $5 Million USD

• Easy Application Process

• Flexible Terms

• Quick Closings

Now that you are experiencing professional success at the highest level, let Big League Funding provide you with the resources you need for those unexpected expenses.

We understand that your lifestyle requires discreet solutions. We value your privacy and will judiciously handle your personal information throughout the entire process.

After an initial consultation with one of our lending associates, and completion of the loan application, we will notify you typically within seven business days of your pre-approval and the best recommendation. Next, we will finalize our underwriting process and contact you to discuss the terms and conditions of your loan and schedule a closing date.

It’s that easy!

Of course, cash flow problems don't only affect pro athletes. In February, 2009, JPMorgan (JPM) and Bank of America (BAC) offered the NBA an additional $200 million to augment the existing credit facility offered by the league to financially struggling teams. (12 of the league's 30 franchises took the money at about 8% interest.)

The importance of financial planning has been a major issue in recent years, which has really hit home with certain players.

As Bart Scott noted, “I learned something a long time ago from Steve Bisciotti, the owner of the Baltimore Ravens. He said, ‘You can live like a king for a while, or you can live like a prince forever.’ I’m satisfied with living like a prince forever.

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