'Real Housewife' finds herself in a real financial bind

Fans of "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" no doubt remember Danielle Staub, who was one of the women viewers loved to hate in the early seasons of the show. Staub has had a hard time keeping up the extravagant lifestyle shown on the show since her departure, which led her to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy last week.

Details have now emerged about how big the financial challenges she was facing actually are. Staub reported that she has nearly $2 million in liabilities and has earned less than $65,000 this year, both entertainment-related: $50,000 for appearing on another failed reality show and just under $14,000 working for a phone service where people can pay money to speak with a celebrity for a few minutes.

While Staub's lifestyle is not one that many people can necessarily relate to, her financial problems are likely familiar to many people in California and around the country who would like a fresh financial start. Staub's outstanding debts included thousands each to local, state and federal taxation authorities plus a giant mortgage. She also has outstanding charge card balances with a handful of clothing realtors.

Staub has already begun to downsize; she reportedly lives in an apartment rather than the mansion that was featured on the show. If she keeps a lower profile, she will not have to spend as much money on agents or publicists, who are also listed as creditors.

Many financially struggling people in California may be able to hit the reset button on their financial picture by consulting with an experienced bankruptcy attorney.

Source: The Star-Ledger, "Danielle Staub's bankruptcy: Post-'Real Housewives,' mortgage woes, legal fees, discount shopping," Vicki Hyman, June 13, 2012

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