In a development that would certainly come as a shock for millions of tennis fans worldwide, German tennis legend Boris Becker has been declared bankrupt by a court in the United Kingdom. The case is related to an old debt owed by Becker to Arbuthnot Latham & Co, a bank based in London. The judge refused to grant Becker the permission to refinance one of his properties in order to pay off the debt.

Financial mismanagement

Becker, who had been one of the biggest stars in tennis, was once worth $127 million but years of financial mismanagement seems to have eroded his wealth substantially. However, in the case related to the debt he owed to Arbuthnot Latham & Co, he had offered to pay it off by refinancing his house in Majorca.

The property is worth around $6.5 million.

His attorney John Briggs argued that it would be in the bank's best interests to allow Becker to refinance his house to pay off the debt. In addition to that, he assured that the authorities in Spain would complete the whole thing in a month. The bank's legal counsel, Matthew Abraham, however, argued that there was no proof that the transaction could be completed on time and also cast doubts about the value fo the property. The judge Christine Derrett asserted that since the debt has been past due since October 2015, she could not allow Becker the 'last change' to repay his debts and drag the case any further. He was eventually declared bankrupt with immediate effect.

The consequences

Following this declaration, Becker's assets will now be used to pay off the debts owed to his creditors.

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Additionally, the income that he earns through his broadcasting work with BBC will also be used to repay his debts. He is going to be a part of the commentating team at Wimbledon this year. Although the debt he owed to the bank has not been disclosed, the judge described the sum as 'substantial' during the court proceedings. His own lawyer described him as an unsophisticated person as far as finance is concerned.

Following the verdict, Becker was adamant that he was in a position to pay off the debt owed to Arbuthnot Latham & Co. His stated that his existing assets and current income will be enough to take care of the debts. "My earnings are well publicized and it is clear that I have the means to repay this debt. The value of the asset in question far exceeds the debt owed to Arbuthnot Latham." He went on to say that he would make an application to challenge this declaration from the judge and then get on with his preparations for his stint as a commentator at Wimbledon.