Today in celebrity bankruptcy news, we bring you a tale of two married celebs that used bankruptcy to conquer their debt and get a new lease on life. In 2001, actor and comedian Flex Anderson was cast in a starring role in the UPN show One on One. His wife Shanice was an R&B hitmaker who was Grammy nominated for her single I Love Your Smile. They were pulling in more than a million bucks a year but, five years later, they were struggling and eventually were evicted from their home. Today we'll look at how these two used bankruptcy to get a fresh start and have remade their lives.
Job loss and income slow-down
Many of our clients have experienced a bout of unemployment or income decrease due to an accident, illness or layoff. Unfortunately, when your income takes a nose dive, your bills usually stay the same. This is exactly what happened to Flex and Shanice. His hit show ended in 2006 and without another opportunity waiting, they were living on residuals from reruns and royalties from her past songs. Problem was, they had a pricey house they bought at the height of their earnings and had a lifestyle to match their blossoming stardom. From expensive clothes and jewelry to a driveway full of luxury cars, they were maxing out their income.
Foreclosure and bankruptcy
They had refinanced their home to try and make ends meet then drained their retirement accounts to stay afloat as long as possible. Scraping to make ends meet ended in 2010 when they were notified their home was being foreclosed on. This was their rock bottom point. They filed bankruptcy and liquidated their assets including the jewelry and cars to get a rental home. They also joined forces with other cash-strapped family members to share rent and expenses. Unlike many that let financial problems pull their family apart, the Andersons used the crisis to come together. By sharing expenses, they were able to regain their financial footing.
Recovering from financial disaster
After using bankruptcy to help recover financially, the duo are exploring new Hollywood projects. They've recently begun shooting a reality series for OWN (the Oprah Winfrey Network) called Flex and Shanice where they will discuss their financial problems. Shanice says people have approached her to say, “Your story is so much like mine. It's helping me through my hard time.” Both Flex and Shanice admit they overspent but now have firm new policies in place to make sure they don't get in trouble again.
They no longer use credit cards – a big change for Flex who would go to Burberry and drop $10k on his American Express card for gifts for Shanice. She says, “If we can't pay cash for it, we just have to wait on it. We use a debit card as opposed to a credit card.” Flex says they bought two used cars for cash and pawned their wedding rings to help cover expenses. Flex says there are many people in Hollywood that are living back at home with parents or sleeping in their cars, but says it's a secret.
The lesson for everyone
Maxing out your income is never a good idea but if you've got back debts piling up, it may be unavoidable. But rather than letting your finances continue to deteriorate, why not look for a solution to get meaningful debt relief? Filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy can eliminate unsecured debts such as medical bills and credit card bills. Filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy can get you extra time to catch up on secured debts like your mortgage and car loan.