Nadya Suleman, the the California woman who had eight babies via fertility treatments, is reportedly in danger of losing her home to foreclosure and filing for bankruptcy. This, in spite of her statement (which she made after giving birth in January 2009) that she would never go on welfare.
So what happened to Octomom?
Suleman is a 35 year-old single mother with not (just) 8 children, but also another 6 – so that means she’s got 14 mouths to feed (for those of you who are keeping tabs). Some of those children are reportedly ‘developmentally and mentally challenged’ as a result of their low birth weight, which isn’t uncommon for mothers who carry multiple children during the same pregnancy.
As anyone who’s got even one child can readily attest, the like to eat and wear clothing. Those minor technicalities can put a dent in even the most financially secure parent’s finances, but Octomom has no visible means of supporting herself or her family. She has apparently been banking on a reality TV show, but that failed to materialize – likely because of the public outcry over a single mother with no income intentionally having a whopping 14 children.
What Octomom Faces In Bankruptcy
There’s no doubt that Octomom will qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. She’s got no income and so is clearly below median income, has a household size of 15 including herself (which is off the charts), and is subsisting on public assistance. Her medical bills are likely extreme because of the challenges faced by her children, and even necessities such as food probably run well over $1,000 per month.
Filing for bankruptcy will definitely help Octomom discharge her unsecured debts and wipe out the deficiency in her mortgage, but if she’s going into foreclosure then a Chapter 7 bankruptcy won’t save the house. Filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy probably won’t work because she’s not employed, but perhaps a friend or family member would be willing to step up to help her make the required payments.
But Filing Bankruptcy Will Not Save Octomom – Or Her Children
Lots of people think that filing for bankruptcy yields an end to your financial problems. Unfortunately, that’s only half-true. Filing for bankruptcy will help you reorganize your debt situation, but if there’s not enough money coming in to cover the basic expenses then even a bankruptcy won’t make the money appear.
Make A Bankruptcy Count
Filing for bankruptcy may help Octomom get out from under some crushing debt problems, but if she wants to make her bankruptcy count then she’s got to take a long, hard look at her overall financial picture without taking those debts into account. What can she do to increase her income and reduce her expenses? Can she use a single supply of clothing and rotate it among the children? Join Costco or Sam’s Club to take advantage of volume discounts? Take an evening course through an online college or university to increase her earning potential? These are just a few ideas to consider.
In the end, filing for bankruptcy won’t bring more money home each month. But it is a good first step at cleaning out the financial mess to make way for smarter living.