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Foreclosures do happen to celebrities — and strategic defaults

On Behalf of | Feb 25, 2011 | Firm News, Home Foreclosure

Forbes magazine recently posted a list of celebrities who are going through home foreclosure. Although sales of foreclosed homes are going down, the real estate market collapse is still affecting millions of U.S. homeowners, and the rich and famous aren’t exempt from underwater mortgages and unmanageable debt.

“All price points have been hit by the foreclosure crisis. The rich and famous have not been excluded from that. There are a handful of people in the luxury real estate category that are experiencing foreclosures as well,” said Forbes reporter Morgan Brennan who wrote the story.

Among those who have been in foreclosure and/or bankruptcy recently, according to Forbes:

  • Former basketball superstar star Julius “Dr. J” Erving
  • Former Detroit Red Wings hockey star Sergei Fedorov
  • Former Boston Celtics star Antoine Walker
  • Patricia Kluge, ex-wife of late media mogul John Kluge
  • Oscar-winning actor Nicholas Cage
  • Grammy-winning hip-hop artist Chamillionaire
  • Grammy-winning R&B singer Toni Braxton

Brennan also said that strategic default — where a homeowner walks away from an underwater mortgage even though they could afford to pay — is on the rise among celebrities. Erving apparently admitted to strategically defaulting on his Utah mansion last fall.

Why is Forbes interested in chronicling the foreclosures of media celebrities and professional athletes?

“In my opinion,” explains Brennan, “millions of Americans are struggling to make their monthly payments. They like to hear that people they love, or love to hate, are experiencing something they can relate to.”


  • Westlaw News & Insight, “Rich and famous also face foreclosures,” Bernd Debusmann Jr., February 25, 2011
  • Forbes magazine, “Foreclosures of the Rich and Famous,” Morgan Brennan, February 23, 2011

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