Gold medal gymnast filed for bankruptcy
After winning two gold medals in the London Olympic Games, gymnast Gabby Douglas’ days of worrying about money are long gone. The first African-American woman to win the all-around gold medal in gymnastics, Douglas now stands to make millions from appearances and endorsement deals. In fact, she has already agreed to appear upon the cover of the Corn Flakes box in the near future.
But Douglas’ newfound success did not come without sacrifice. She has spent the last two years training and living hundreds of miles from her family. In addition to being difficult and stressful, Douglas’ Olympic preparation was costly, ultimately causing her mother to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy earlier this year. But when asked about her bankruptcy filing, Natalie Hawkins has no regrets. “I’m not even embarrassed about it,” she told a reporter. “I’m glad there was something there for me to be able to protect my home.”
According to Hawkins’ bankruptcy filing, she has assets totaling about $160,000, primarily made up of the family home and a car. The family has about $80,000 in debt, most of which is her mortgage. In 2009, Hawkins, a single mother of four, went on long-term medical disability, and the family lived on little to no income for about six months. Now, court documents that Hawkins has an income of about $2,500, most of which comes from Social Security disability benefits and child support.
Under the terms of her Chapter 13 bankruptcy, Hawkins will pay $400 per month for about five years. She is pleased with the outcome of her case, stating that the bankruptcy filing allowed her to “be able to live and reorganize my debt in such a way that I could still pay what I owed.”
Source: Yahoo, “Gymnast Gabby Douglas’ mom filed for bankruptcy,” Aug. 6, 2012