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So how bad is Phil and Felice's situation really? Suze says she's spent hours pouring over their financial records. "I've been doing this, as you know, for a long, long time. And I have never seen such disrespect for money as in this family here," she says. "I don't even think you have any idea how bad it is, and you don't."

Phil and Felice really have $135,000 in credit card debt. They also pay $1,700 a month for their three cars.

Their two mortgages total $658,000. Because their mortgage is a negative amortized loan, Suze says that means their mortgage will increase by $20,000 every year. "There is no longer any equity in this home at all, and all you are paying is $1,800 a month on it and that is to adjust in a few months up to $3,300 a month," she says.

They are also two weeks behind on their mortgage payment. "There is no money left in any bank accounts. All your credit limits are almost used up," Suze says. "And Felice is willing to say 'I am in trouble' because she can no longer get any cash advances to pay the bills."

So how bad is it on a scale of 1 to 10? "Maybe 1,000, and I don't say that lightly," Suze says.
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FROM: Money Interventions: The Mom Who Shopped Her Family Broke
Published on January 01, 2006

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