One of the great things about the HBO show ‘Big Little Lies‘ is the authentic way it portrays real people and the corresponding world they live in. While the series primarily focuses on motherhood, friendship and marital relationships, it also offers a glimpse into the financial affairs of the rich.

Most of the show’s main characters are monied, with the exception of Shailene Woodley’s Jane Chapman, but Laura Dern’s character Renata Klein was perhaps the most defined by her wealth. So, her current financial struggles seem to have more weight.


Gordon’s illegal activities are the cause of their current troubles

In the show’s second season, Renata and her husband Gordon are faced with the possibility of losing everything they have. And that even includes Renata’s wedding ring, which is fair game, according to a real-life bankruptcy lawyer and National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys president John C. Colwell.

So, how did the couple get to this dire situation? Well, apparently, Gordon lost the Klein family wealth through something illegal. And Renata found this out the hard way when her husband was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on accusations of securities fraud. As he would, later on, reveal, Gordon and some of his friends began short selling stocks. However, he went too far by trading stocks using some information only he had. The authorities soon caught on and he was arrested.

Aside from Renata’s wedding ring, the couple will also possibly lose their $20 million mansion, which has been dubbed as the best one on the show by some publications, as well as their Tesla.

Although set in Monterey, the real-life house is actually located in Malibu and is worth $12.4 million


In the show, the couple went the bankruptcy filing route. According to CNBC, there are two kinds of personal bankruptcies: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. The former, according to Colwell, is preferable because it is quicker and the more popular option. It can be done in just four months and the filer will no longer be required to pay off the debts they’ve incurred.

When filing for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the filer is required to disclose all of their debts and assets so it can be reviewed by a trustee. Because this process is comprehensive Colwell says that people should include things like jewelry, furniture, clothing, and even pets on the list.

Tesla cars are usually very expensive with the flagship model retailing for around $70,000

This is where Renata and Gordon got into some further trouble. As it turns out, Renata failed to list down the Tesla and her wedding ring on the assets form. According to Colwell, there are some assets that can be exempted depending on their value and the aforementioned items might not qualify for it. So, why is listing down all assets important anyway? Well, because these assets will be the ones used to pay off the filer’s debts.

Meanwhile, filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy is more complicated. The process involves the devising of a repayment plan to resolve the filer’s debts.

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