Suffering through a foreclosure is overwhelming for anyone, but when you’re a celebrity dealing with this stressful situation in the spotlight, it becomes that much more difficult. You’d think the added pressure would encourage celebrities to make sure all of their business was on the up and up, but it seems many still struggle just like every day homeowners.
In fact, some of the biggest foreclosures seen have been at the hands of the biggest names in the business. To prove it, let’s take a look at 10 of the biggest celebrity foreclosures we’ve seen in recent times.
#1: Mel Gibson
As of September 2010, the movie star best known for his roles in Braveheart and Lethal Weapons 1-4 reportedly owed $212,000 for three homes in Malibu, Calif., as well as his multimillion dollar Holy Family Catholic Church. Some say this is payback for initiating a child custody tug of war with his baby momma and ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva.
Image (CC) Brian Solis, www.briansolis.com
You would think someone with the name Chamillionaire would have no problem paying off any home he owned. In this case, the rap star, also known by his real name, Hakeem Seriki, handed over his keys because he could no longer afford his $2 million home. Sometimes names can be deceiving.
#3: Ed McMahon
Photo courtesy of Christa Chapman
#4: Evander Holyfield
Photo by Shelka04
In 2009, former heavyweight champ Evander Holyfield was on the hook for back payments due on his 109-room mansion. In addition to the child support payments owed to the mother of one of his 11 children and being sued by a consulting company for not repaying a loan, Holyfield owed upwards of $10 million.
#5: Mortgage Bankers Association
You’re probably wondering how in the world the Mortgage Bankers Association managed to face foreclosure–the very business that represents the real estate industry. Well, it all started when the association purchased the building it operated in for $79 million. After suffering the effects of plunging property values during the housing market crash, the loan went underwater, forcing the business to walk away from its own mortgage.
By svenwerk via Wikimedia Commons
The rapper-turned Pimp My Ride host needed someone to pimp his paycheck into one that would cover all of his bills, including his mortgage loan. Unfortunately, this never occurred and as a result he was allowed to list his $1.2 million home as a short sale for $700k to avoid foreclosure. To date, it hasn’t been sold.
#7: The Olympics
Another shocker was news that the Olympics was among the biggest foreclosures. Okay, well maybe not the Olympics itself, but the resort that was the home to the 2010 Winter Olympics, Vancouver’s Whistler-Blackcomb Resort. According to published reports, the Canadian resort missed a $524 million payment to its financial company and as a result faced a Feb. 2010 foreclosure. As of Oct. 2010, the financial company was thinking about selling the resort to resolve its financial woes.
#8: Wyclef Jean
Photo courtesy of gdcgraphics
The former Haitian president hopeful had other problems to think about prior to announcing his candidacy. In 2008, the music mogul had his Florida home placed into foreclosure for failure to keep up with payments. But that’s not all. In August 2010, it was reported he owed more than 2.1 million dollars to the IRS for unpaid taxes for 2006, 2007 and 2008. To settle the debt, the IRS placed a nice little lien on his home.
#9: Michael Jackson
Photo by Keir Whitaker/derivative work: TheCuriousGnome via Wikimedia Commons
The King of Pop unfortunately faced one of the largest and most expensive foreclosures ever before his untimely passing in 2009. The incredible Neverland Ranch was part-mansion, part-amusement park, part-zoo and totally in debt. Worth millions, Jackson sold a portion of the ranch for $35 million. However, being the king that he was, he was able to keep some of the ranch in his name after the foreclosure.
#10: Veronica Hearst
Photo from Getty Images
Veronica Hearst, the widow of publisher Randolph Hearst, lost her massive property in 2008 when she discovered she owed a whopping $45 million in unpaid mortgages. To bail herself out, she auctioned off her property for $22 million then later sold two of her New York apartments as well as some of her art and jewelry.
The only thing more difficult to deal with than a celebrity bankruptcy is possibly a foreclosure. Luckily, most celebrities are able to avoid this difficult circumstance. If you as a homeowner want to make sure you also don’t suffer this fate, it’s good to learn how to avoid foreclosure as soon as possible.