More foreclosures coming from "Extreme Makeover"?

It seems like we're going to see a lot more headlines like the one yesterday on one of the homes fixed up on Extreme Makeover ending up at a foreclosure auction (dramatically on the steps of the local courthouse in Georgia). Maybe it's only logical, given the mission of the show to fix up houses for those who can't afford to do so on their own. Many of these people are going to end up in further trouble, unable to afford their up-sized dreams.

Free Money Finance is hot on the trial of two more houses featured on the show that may be in trouble: one in Maryland and one in Oregon. In both cases, the families just had too much house to maintain and couldn't keep up. Being on the show may have actually exacerbated their problems. But isn't that the whole gist of the mortgage crisis right now? Banks extended pie-in-the-sky loans to people they know couldn't afford them, then jacked up the rates after they sucked the people into buying houses.

Extreme Makeover does the same thing, just with all the good intentions in the world. You can bet that the producers are going to be searching very carefully for their next set of homes to rebuild for the upcoming season, screening for possible future bad news the way other reality shows try to weed out the bad apples. But really, what they should do is offer a long-term solution for a family's crisis, rather than intimating that you can give somebody a dream home in the course of an hour-long TV show.

Long-term care doesn't have to be dreary entertainment. My favorite example of this is a short documentary that was nominated for an Academy Award years ago, The Collector of Bedford Street. The film details the efforts of a West Village neighborhood in New York to set up a trust fund for a developmentally disabled adult to insure his future after his aged caretaker passes away. It's great human drama.
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