Facing Mounting Debt, Couple Jump To Their Deaths, Leaving Kids Behind.

There is nothing sadder, to me, than people who commit suicide over their debts. Don’t they understand that it is just money and if they have a little faith and creativity they can get themselves out of anything? Thankfully, in America there are no debtors prisons, so you can’t be thrown in jail because you haven’t paid off your student loans, overblown mortgage or mounting credit card balances. No matter what happens, the universe will find a way to save you. I make this statement from experience. I know what it is like to have had everything taken away, have no money in the bank nor my pocket and yet, somehow, someway, if you just give it time, a way will be made for you out of the darkness.

170728-double-suicide-feature-imageThis past week, a broke NYC chiropractor, Glenn Scarpelli, 53 and his wife, Patricia Colant, 50 jumped to their deaths from the 9th floor in an office building where they worked at 5: 45AM Friday — leaving suicide notes describing how they “cannot live with” their “financial reality,” law-enforcement sources said.

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A suicide note recovered by police Seth Gottfried

Their bodies were found sprawled in the middle of East 33rd Street in Murray Hill. Inside each of their pockets was a suicide note and ID in a plastic baggie — presumably to make sure the letters didn’t get too bloody to read. Colant’s letter included contact information for family and friends and instructed that a specific person notify their children (ages 19 and 20 whose East Side private high school tuition cost $38,000 per year, EACH!)) about their deaths, a law-enforcement source said.

Scarpelli entitled his typed suicide note: “WE HAD A WONDERFUL LIFE. Patricia and I had everything in life”

Apparently, neither their two children nor any of their close friends and family knew of the couples financial problems. A lien was taken out against them in September showing the couple owed $23,304 in federal taxes, while another tax lien in April 2015 indicated a $232,295 debt.

In 2013, the feds took legal action against the husband for failing to pay back nearly a $60,000 student loan Scarpelli took out in 2000 while studying at the Logan College of Chiropractic in Chesterfield, Mo. Sadly, the couple could not live with their financial reality and decided death was their only way out. Unfortunately,  it’s not. Their children now must bear the burden AND since the husband and wife committed suicide,  most insurance companies will not pay out on self-destructive life endings.

From the little I know about the financial standing of this couple, their debt was NOT insurmountable. It wasn’t in the billions or even the millions. All they had to do was put their children into a public high school and that would have netted them an extra $76,000 per year. You wave $76K at the IRS or the feds and they have a habit of backing down. Their job is to collect money. They know they can’t get blood out of a stone. As I said people, it’s only money! You came into the world without money and you’re going to leave this world without it!

Yesterday, on this blog, we talked about resiliency. Not too many people today have the guts needed to survive our hard, cruel world. And it’s going to get worse. Not easier. Debt is a terrible thing BUT it is NOT worth killing yourself over. “They” might take everything away from you but “they” are only taking away material possessions. You can find another place to live. You can put another roof over your head. And you can get food to put on the table. The universe is filled with programs and kindly people just itching to help you. You will find another way through the maze, you just have to take a deep breath and look for it. It’s there.

Obviously these parents were very, very weak. In retrospect their debt was NOT overbearing IMHO. Somebody could have told them that! The right attorney and accountant could have gotten them the financial relief they so desperately needed. They also should have confided in someone, anyone…..even an anonymous online tell-all debtors help line.

And of course, the method that I always turned to, in times of trouble: God might have worked for them too. God is way more powerful than any IRS agent, that’s for sure. A simple prayer of letting God know you’re at the end of your rope, you’ve exhausted all your human brain could muster…..and now? You need some divine, super-natural intervention. Wait for it. It’s on it’s way.

My thoughts and prayers go to the children of Glenn and Patricia. They have a very rough road ahead of them. They need to hang tough and stay firm. For them, there will NEVER be a day they don’t think of their parents. I just hope and pray they do not follow in their parents footsteps. No amount of money is worth losing your life over.

Live well and prosper, my friend. Live well and yes! Prosper!




10 thoughts on “Facing Mounting Debt, Couple Jump To Their Deaths, Leaving Kids Behind.

  1. Any family left behind do not legally assume the debt of the deceased unless the particular debt was also co signed by a specific family member. All debts are paid out of the liquidated estate of the deceased. If the estate does not cover the debts, the debtors are not going to get paid, even if the debtors contact family and threaten otherwise. It is not the living familys’ responsibility.


    • All debts are paid out of the liquidated estate…yes, that’s right. Which will leave absolutely nothing for their two children. How would you like to be 19 and 20 and face a future like that? However you slice it, those left behind may not be legally responsible for anything BUT they still face and will live, a mess.


  2. If their kids are 19 and 20, I wouldn’t think they would still be in high school. It’s too bad they were that desperate. Usually one partner will talk the other out of taking such action, but apparently both felt the situation to be hopeless.


    • One kid just graduated high school. The other is in college. Nonetheless, throughout their high school years, these parents doled out at least $76,000 to $100,000 for high school. Ridiculous.
      I would like to know how else they spent their money. We learn from other people.
      Still, a very sad tale indeed. 😦


  3. I was horrified and saddened when I read this yesterday. I can understand a husband thinking he failed his family and taking the easy way out. But, for a mother and father to choose to leave children behind, well, that is unthinkable. They made orphans of their children!


  4. I can’t even begin to imagine that level of desperation. Given how planned their suicides were, one can’t help but wonder what else they had going on. Like you pointed out, although they had a lot of debt, it wasn’t insurmountable…especially given their line of work. No matter the details, the entire situation is incredibly sad.


    • Hi Chris. Literally, their POOR kids. A very sad story. But I hope the tale reaches someone who is drowning in debt. No amount of financial worries should equal taking one’s own life. It’s only money. You’ll make more.


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