People magazine and all the other celebrity gossip magazines have never been so invested in real estate news as it has during this recession -- they could keep alive a whole sections on celebrities with money troubles (they're just like us!).
The latest to fill the space is another Extreme Makeover family is in danger of foreclosure. This time it's the Vardons of Detroit, from a 2004 episode. The couple and their blind autistic son refinanced after the show came to their rescue, and took equity out to cover the 16-year-old's medical therapy. But now the husband may lose his job and they can't meet the $2,300 monthly payments.
This is the same problem that a growing number of Extreme Makeover families are having, which is causing them to lose their homes. Not coincidentally, it's the same problem that caused the subprime crisis and contributed to the economic downfall of the entire country. What's going on? People spent money they didn''t have, either buying houses they can't afford or taking out equity that they cannot repay. The banks risked loans on them and now are failing because of defaults.
That bad habit of overspending seems to nab celebrities as much as it nabs the rest of us. And the latest in the celebrity debt blotter is Fantasia Barrino, the American Idol winner. The singer is heavily in debt, and the collection agency is coming to call for her $1.3 million house in North Carolina. This isn't a bank foreclosure, but Barrino may still lose her home. She owes money to a Florida company that loaned her money to cover back taxes, and she hasn't paid them back. So they are going to take her collatoral and put it up for auction on Jan. 12 unless the parties reach a settlement.