Training an Olympic athlete can be a costly adventure and known one this better than Gabby Douglas’ mother, Natalie Hawkins, who declared bankruptcy earlier this year.
Hawkins filed for Chapter 13 in January of this year listing assets totaling $163,706 with liabilities totaling $80,000. Most of her debt comes from her Virginia Beach townhouse and a car.
Chapter 13 is a personal bankruptcy structure that allows the filer to negotiate a repayment plan with creditors, giving them a few years to pay off their debts. Under this debt-relief plan, very few of the debts are dismissed. This is considered the more responsible way to get out of debt and with the assistance of a bankruptcy attorney the filer will be able to get a repayment plan they can live with.
Hawkins became medically disabled in 2009 and the single mother of four had six long months of no income. In addition to being saddled with mortgage debt, she also had the additional cost of sending Gabby to Iowa for training.
Hawkins was in London to watch her daughter compete and said bankruptcy gave her the opportunity “to still be able to live and reorganize my debt in such a way that I could still pay what I owed.”
“It’s my story, it’s part of me. I’m not even embarrassed about,” Hawkins said Sunday in London, “It shows that even though I didn’t like to have to do it, I’m glad there was something there for me to be able to protect my home.
Now that Gabby has won the gold and will have numerous brand endorsements to look forward to, her mother’s sacrifices have paid off.