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Credit counseling for ‘Housewives’ star

Marketplace Staff Jul 2, 2010

Credit counseling for ‘Housewives’ star

Marketplace Staff Jul 2, 2010


Tess Vigeland: Our mission each week is to help as many of you get your finances in order as we can. So to end today’s program we thought we’d try to provide a little advice to someone in serious, serious hot water.

Teresa Giudice: Hi, I’m Teresa Giudice from the “Real Houswives of New Jersey.”

Perhaps some of you, maybe even all of you have been following her drama on the Bravo channel. Giudice and her husband have filed for bankruptcy and it is not hard to figure out how they landed there.

Giudice: You come to my house and it’s like grand entrance. I love this piece, I had to have it, i could live without it. Here’s my Gucci glasses, I had to have these. My husband Joe is an entrepreneur and he’s very successful and he lets me spend the money.

Friend: So do you lock up the check books and the safe?

Joe Giudice: You know, everytime Teresa comes you gotta lock up all of it.


Vigeland: So exactly how much debt have they gotten themselves into? Eleven-million dollars worh. But, we thought Giudice could use our help, so we called up Gail Cunningham of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. Hi Gail.

Gail Cunningham: Hey Tess, how are you?

Vigeland: I’m good. So first off, how is it possible to get into that much debt? What bank lets you do that?

Cunningham: Well, I would guess that their spending is spread across several credit cards. Maybe even dozens. But it goes without saying that they were living lavishly.

Vigeland: Alright, well let’s get to brass tax. Where would you start with this real houswife?

Cunningham: Well, this real houswife just filed a real bankruptcy and they have to receive financial counseling prior to filing. Now what goes on during this session? The counselor will probe to see the root of the problem. What got these people into that situation? Now, I have to tell you I wish I was a fly on the wall because I bet that was a very interesting conversation.

Vigeland: So pretend that they would be coming into your office. What do you tell them?

Cunningham: Well absolutely we would talk to them about what they’re going to do next. Obviously, they’ve made the decision to file bankruptcy which I always hope it’s a person’s last decision and not their first. But you know I think your listerners can identify with this. These people just happen to be in debt on steroids. They’re going to have a very steep adjustment as you might imagine. They’ve had a lot of fun. Americans are really good spenders and these people maxed that out.

Vigeland: Gail Cunningham is with the National Foundation for Credit Counseling and we thank you and we’re pretty sure, were she listening, Teresa would thank you too.

Cunningham: Thank you, Tess.

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