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article imageDetroit Pistons 'Bad Boy' star files bankruptcy

By Laura Trowbridge     Apr 24, 2010 in Sports
Rick Mahorn, who was a member of the Pistons' 1989 NBA championship team from the "Bad Boys" era, has filed bankruptcy and has had his $500,000 home foreclosed on.
Former member of the Detroit Pistons, who coached the WNBA's Detroit Shock before the team relocated to Tulsa, Okla., and who is now the Piston's radio analyst, Mahorn is the latest Detroit professional athlete to find himself facing financial ruin.
Mahorn, 51, and his wife filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy because of failed investments, the plummeting value of their Rochester Hills home, and the burden of repaying more than $200,000 to the IRS, he said. Portions of his paychecks have been seized to satisfy delinquent federal taxes, records show. Along with Derrick Coleman, Mahorn is the second retired Pistons star to file bankruptcy in recent months.
Mahorn was accused by the trustee handling his Chapter 7 filing of not accounting for several of his known assets, including his NBA pension and his one Detroit Pistons and two Detroit Shock championship rings. Mahorn said the Pistons ring is "gone."
Mahorn is employed as part of the Pistons radio broadcast team and also for Palace Sports & Entertainment, but he and his wife have been trying to find more work to boost their income.
"Like any normal American, I'm trying to find a job to better myself," Mahorn said. "I'm doing everything possible."
Mahorn and his wife were facing a home foreclosure sale in April 2009 after they defaulted on their mortgage and owed more than $539,000. U.S. National Bank later sued and won a judgment for possession in November.
Mahorn and his wife filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy last December, listing $228,603 in assets and $518,688 in liabilities.
The bankruptcy filing came after Mahorn failed to renegotiate the mortgage on his Rochester Hills home, which had decreased in value by $300,000. He surrendered the home to U.S. National Bank last month and is now renting in Metro Detroit.
Despite making more than $6 million throughout his playing career and pulling in a six figure salary as a Pistons commentator and coach to Detroit Shock, Mahorn and his wife had just $1,101 dollars to their name when they filed bankruptcy.
Public records show that since 2006 the IRS has filed liens for almost $214,000 in delinquent taxes against Mahorn. But Mahorn's lawyer said the tax debt is now repaid. According to bankruptcy court documents, the IRS seized about $35,000 from Mahorn's paychecks last year to satisfy the tax debt.
Mahorn's lawyer Scott Zochowski said: "Rick's in a very similar situation to other folks who have lived through bad investments and an uncooperative mortgage company. Chapter 7 is offering them a fresh start and I am confident they will be able to make the most of it."
Besides former Pistons Mahorn and Coleman, other retired Detroit athletes to experience financial problems include former Detroit Lion Luther Elliss and former Red Wings Darren McCarty and Sergei Fedorov.
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