The Brown family of Sister Wives fame is no stranger to debt. For years, fans have watched Kody Brown and his four wives make inexplicable financial decisions. Now that three of his four wives have left him behind, fans speculate more financial trouble is forthcoming for Kody and his last remaining wife. Bankruptcy could be in their future, considering how overextended Kody and Robyn Brown seem to be. It would be a familiar process for Kody. Let’s look back at all the other times the Sister Wives stars filed for bankruptcy. One surprising member of the family hasn’t found themselves in bankruptcy court.
Janelle Brown was the first in the family to file for bankruptcy
Before Janelle Brown opted to separate from Kody Brown sometime in 2022, she was responsible for the family’s finances. While she mentioned multiple times on Sister Wives that she considers herself frugal, she wasn’t without money troubles. Just four years after spiritually marrying Kody Brown, Janelle filed for bankruptcy.
Starcasm obtained the bankruptcy filing for the Browns in 2015, including Janelle’s 1997 paperwork. In the filing, Janelle declared that she had around $20,000 in debt, including $12,000 in credit card debt. With an income of just under $400 per month, she opted to file for bankruptcy. Janelle may have been the first family member to file for bankruptcy, but she wasn’t the last.
Kody Brown and Meri Brown filed eight years later
In 2005, Kody Brown and Meri Brown filed for bankruptcy. As the only legally married duo, their filing was done jointly. The couple claimed to have an income of around $5,000 per month, but their expenses totaled over $6,000 per month.
Meri and Kody certainly appear to have been overextended based on their bankruptcy filing. Their financial obligations included several car loans, two mortgages, and over $80,000 in credit card debt. Before signing up for Sister Wives, Kody worked in sales, while Meri worked part-time in youth services. Janelle Brown was employed by the state of Utah, and Christine appeared to mostly stay home with the family’s then-12 children. Christine’s sixth and final child was born in the same year.
Christine Brown went broke the year ‘Sister Wives’ began
Christine Brown was the latest member of the family to file for bankruptcy. The mother of six filed for bankruptcy in 2010, the year Sister Wives premiered on TLC. In her filing, also obtained by Starcasm, Christine reported an income of $2,300 per month, although much of that income came from Kody, who was considered her “partner” at the time, and from government assistance she received.
Christine’s debt was similar to that reported by Kody and Meri, and Janelle. $22,000 of her $25,000 reported debts were credit card related. At the time of filing, Christine owed Best Buy, Home Depot, and various banks money for credit card purchases. Christine has since financially recovered and is living her best life in Utah with a new boyfriend.
Robyn Brown is the only family member who hasn’t filed for bankruptcy yet
Sister Wives fans have largely lambasted Robyn Brown for her wonton spending and the debt she brought into the marriage. She married Kody in 2010 and carried more than $30,000 of debt into the marriage. Family funds were used to pay off the debt, including a lofty bill from Victoria’s Secret.
Still, her financial baggage was actually nothing new to the Browns. Robyn is the only family member who has yet to file for bankruptcy, although some Sister Wives fans think another bankruptcy is in Kody Brown’s future. Since Robyn and Kody are now legally wed, she’d be a part of that filing, too. Without the financial support of Janelle Brown, Meri Brown, and Christine Brown, it feels like a distinct possibility.