Octuplets’ Grandmother Filed for Bankruptcy! News or Cheap Shot?

31 Jan Octuplets’ Grandmother Filed for Bankruptcy! News or Cheap Shot?

ABC News reports:”Octuplets’ Family Has Bankruptcy History”!

CBS News reports: “Octuplets’ Family Filed For Bankruptcy”!

ABC and CBS are reporting on the recent birth of Octuplets’ to a woman in California who already had six children and lives with her mother in a three bedroom house.

There’s only one problem: The mother didn’t file for bankruptcy!

The grandmother did!

To bring up the bankruptcy of the octuplets’ grandmother is nothing more than a cheap shot!

Of course, it is understandable that a woman having eight babies at one time is news, and it is also understandable that the fact of the woman already having six children at the time that she underwent fertilization procedures would raise serious news worthy questions about the medical ethics of the procedure as well as quality of life issues about the children.

But how is the bankruptcy relevant?

Well, it isn’t!

The headline is sensational: How could someone who had filed for a bankruptcy due to their financial problems, who already had six children, expect to be able to support another eight children? How financially irresponsible!

The bankruptcy filing by the octuplets’ grandmother, Angela Victoria Suleman reveals that she filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy in March of 2008. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy, also known as a “wage earner” bankruptcy, is one where the debtor is permitted to pay arrearages on a debt, usually a home mortgage, over period of time, in an attempt to keep the home.

A review of the bankruptcy pleadings, schedules and plan reveal that this was the apparent reason for the filing in the case of the octuplets’ grandmother.

The reports by ABC and CBS continue to support the mischaracterization of bankruptcy debtors as financially irresponsible deadbeats, when in fact the vast majority of bankruptcies are filed by people who have suffered a job loss, a medical problem or some other major life event that has caused their financial situation to become unexpectedly worse.

The truth of the matter is that it is unlikely that anyone, other than the most wealthy, could afford to raise 14 children without help.

The Gosselin family, who are the subject of the Discovery Channel series Jon and Kate Plus Eight readily admit that they would not be able to support their family if not for the donations and financial help of others, along with free trips and other free services provided to them in exchange for the mention of the provider of the free services on the Gosselin’s TV series.

There are certainly social and medical ethics issues that are genuine subjects for ABC and CBS to address in this matter. To bring up the bankruptcy of the octuplets’ grandmother is nothing more than a cheap shot!

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I've been a consumer bankruptcy lawyer for nearly 25 years. Since that time I have helped many people resolve their financial problems. I have been practicing law since 1986 and I am licensed to practice in all state and federal courts in the State of Louisiana. Because I am a sole practitioner, you know that your debt matters are being handled by me personally. In addition to my work with consumers, I am also frequently asked to speak at local seminars on bankruptcy law. I am member of the following organizations: • Louisiana Bar Association • National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys • Bankruptcy Law Network My office is located at: 3920 General DeGaulle Drive, New Orleans, LA 70114 Telephone: (504) 368-4101

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