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!).
Judy Vardon, who was featured in a 2004 episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition with her husband and blind, autistic son, may be facing foreclosure because the family cannot afford the mortgage payments on their home.
Frederick M. Brown, Getty Images
'Extreme Makeover' House I Sadie Holmes of Altamonte Springs, Fla., does charity work from her house remodeled two years ago on ABC's 'Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.' Early October reports said Holmes could lose the house over a $29,000 county lien placed on the property after months of code violations racked up.
Hilda M. Perez, Orlando Sentinel / MCT
'Extreme Makeover' House II The Harper family home in Clayton County, Ga., which was rebuilt on an episode 'Extreme Makeover' in 2005, went into foreclosure this summer after the family used the house as collateral for a $450,000 loan and couldn't meet the payments.
Michael Buckner, Getty Images
American Idol winner Fantasia Barrino is not facing a bank foreclosure, but may nonetheless lose her $1.3 million Charlotte home when a company she owes money puts it up for auction in January.
Leon Bennett, WireImage
Damon Dash Foreclosure proceedings began in August against the hip-hop mogul over unpaid mortgages on two Manhattan apartments. Eastern Savings Bank says the Roc-A-Fella Records co-founder and his wife owed more than $7 million on the properties.
Gary Gershoff, Wire Image
Ed McMahon The former "Tonight Show" personality made "a confidential deal" in August to sell his Beverly Hills home after falling behind on payments.
Matt Sayles, AP
Scott Storch The hip-hop producer went into foreclosure in July on his $10 million Miami mansion, according to The Palm Beach Post. He also had his Ferrari Scaglietti and his prized motorcycle, a Bones Bike, repossessed.
Wilfredo Lee, AP
Vin Baker The former NBA player has also been stung by the wave of foreclosures sweeping the U.S. Baker's 9,300-square-foot Georgian brick colonial Durham, Conn., home -- which has six bedrooms, a two-lane bowling alley, basketball court, guest house and pool -- was auctioned for $2.5 million in July.
Charles Krupa, AP
Ernestine Anderson The jazz vocalist faced a foreclosure on her Seattle home. Public records showed that she was more than $30,000 in arrears in payments and penalties.
Jonathan Ferrey, Getty Images
Adam 'Pacman' Jones The home of the Cowboys cornerback was recently put up for auction in August, attracting a $1.1 million offer -- less than the $1.4 million he owed.
Ray Tamarra, Getty Images
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.