Gabby Douglas’ mom filed for Chapter 13, reorganized debts

August 22, 2012 11:18 am Published by

Sometimes it takes a fresh start to get ahead. Since Gabby Douglas won a gold medal in the Olympics for women’s gymnastics, her mother has also made headlines, both for her sacrifice and the support she provided her daughter, but also because she filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy earlier this year.

She believes that filing bankruptcy allowed her to be able to live and reorganize debt so she could still repay what she owed. When talking about bankruptcy, she is not ashamed and was glad that there was a legal way to protect her home from foreclosure.

One reason that debtors in New York hesitate to file bankruptcy is because of a certain stigma or the social pressure to continue to keep paying off debts. In reality, many of these debts will never get paid. For those who suffer from unmanageable debt, usually the hole gets deeper before there is any relief. Bankruptcy provides an opportunity to get a fresh start, but also to pave the way for future financial stability.

Natalie Hawkins, Gabby’s mother, filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, allowing her to pay down her debt over several years. The bankruptcy filings list Ms. Hawkins as having assets totaling $163,706, including a townhouse and a 2007 Nissan Maxima. Her debt is around $80,000, mostly from a mortgage. Her income is around $2,500 a month which comes from Social Security disability and child support.

Gabby Douglas is one of the most popular athletes of the Olympics in London. She is the first African-American woman to win the all-around gold medal in gymnastics. She has won fans all over the world and been nicknamed, “Flying Squirrel.” In addition to her Olympic fame, she stands to earn millions of dollars from endorsement deals and other ventures.

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