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Celebrity Foreclosure: The New DUI

Used to be that getting arrested for DUI was the ultimate disgrace symbol for the A list. Then everybody got one and it became so common that you weren't even guaranteed a spot in the tabloids - Rebecca DeMornay's DUI arrest didn't hit sites like TMZ until two weeks afterwards. Now there's a worse fate for celebrities who have fallen out of the spotlight: becoming homeless.

Not even the rich and famous are exempt from the mortgage blues. Wall Street, in particular, has been decimated by both layoffs and drastically reduced earnings. There are a lot of folks out there who were sitting pretty only a few years ago, only to find themselves over-mortgaged and under-compensated. They face losing their homes and the equity they've already paid into it. In the case of second homes, many have chosen to just walk away rather than drain their resources. And then there's the folks who had it but blew it all away. They're a little bit harder to feel sorry for.

Contestant # 1 is Ed McMahon, co-host of the Tonight Show, StarSearch and other shows, and spokesman for about a billion products. Ed's now 86, and only a fractured neck suffered last year in a fall could slow him down. Unfortunately, unlike most people his age, especially those who had such high incomes, Ed is in serious debt, owing American Express $750,000 and $180,000 to Citibank. He's also almost $650,000 behind on a Countrywide mortgage. The McMahons are well known to be big spenders; it's too bad they might lose it all in their golden years.

Ed's not alone. Boxing champion Evander Holyfield's $10 million Georgia estate is scheduled to hit the auction block July 1. Evander was once worth millions, but he's losing his home and is said to be behind on his child support payments. He also refuses to discuss any of the above.

Disgraced Olympian Marion Jones lost her home in North Carolina. She blames her financial straits on her legal fees, but she sure looks high maintenance to me. And Jose Canseco walked away from his LA mansion when liens were placed on it and the market bottomed out.

I guess this all just goes to show that celebrities really are stupid with their money; they just piss it away and think it's going to keep pouring in. Others are victims of shady money managers, but I don't think that happens nearly as much as the celebrities would like us to believe. It's so like them to blame someone else, though.













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