As a general rule, fame makes a person rich. But fame is fickle and can be fleeting. When the mighty fall and the torrent of green bucks suddenly becomes a trickle, debt and bankruptcy often soon follows, as in the case of these celebrities who, at some point in their lives, have suffered - or are still suffering - from serious debt problems:
1. Lindsay Lohan
The pop singer/actress and fashion model who was notorious for two incidents of driving under influence (DUI) has been reported to be racking up massive credit card debt that could spell the end of her career.
Radar Online reported last April of 2010 that the ex-teen sensation owed credit cards around 0,000 worth. A card company had even cut off her credit line and has made plans of suing the actress unless she resolves her financial woes.
Lohan was also reported to be two months behind her rent. She had to pay her landlord ,000 in cash just so she wouldn't be thrown out from her apartment.
2. Toni Braxton
Once known for her Grammy hits "Un-break My Heart" and "You're Making Me High," the American R&B singer had to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy after raking around - million in debts.
Braxton's four-bedroom house in Nevada has been listed for foreclosure, and her .2 million Georgia home has been taken out from bankruptcy protection. It was reported in January that the Grammy singer had considered modeling for Playboy Magazine to pay off some of her debt.
Fortunately, her highly successful reality show "Braxton Family Values," which debuted last April, is now keeping the 43-year-old star above the red line.
3. Nicolas Cage
Despite being one of the highest paid actors in Hollywood, Cage had several run-ins with the IRS in 2007 for not paying his income taxes amounting to .2 million. On top of this, the IRS had also imposed a tax lien on Cage for unpaid taxes from 2004 to 2006, amounting to 0,545.
The actor, who is known for owning a fleet of Rolls Royces, a flotilla of yachts, and even the most haunted house in the United States, has had some of his properties foreclosed to pay off his taxes.
Meanwhile, creditors from East West Bank and Red Curb Investments have also filed their lawsuits after Cage failed to pay the multimillion dollar loans he got from them. 4. Stephen Baldwin
Baldwin's rise to stardom has been well known. From his 90s films "The Usual Suspects" (1995), "Bio Dome" (1996), and "Flintstones in Viva Las Vegas" (2000), to his reality TV shows "Celebrity Apprentice" and "I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here," one would never have imagined that in just a few years he would become a casualty of celebrity financial meltdown.
On June 12, 2009, Stephen and his wife Kenya failed to pay their mortgage amounting to 4,000. His home in New York was auctioned after the bank foreclosed his property. The following month, Baldwin filed for a Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Court documents reveal that the actor had millions in debt.
While money troubles continue to hound the actor, his reality TV shows keep his head above water. 5. MC Hammer
The Hammertime was a rap icon in the early 1990s. His single "U Can't Touch This," his flamboyant dance moves, and his signature Hammer pants were all embraced by an entire generation of rapper wannabees.
For his smash single alone, Hammer had earned around million. But with all his excesses - including a million mansion and a 300-strong entourage, which cost him 0,000 a month - his wealth disappeared very fast. He filed for bankruptcy in April 1996.
Although celebrities like Hammer can be more prone to bankruptcy and debt because their unsteady sort of income can make it difficult for them to plan their expenses, debt is also a reality for the rest of us. Nonetheless, despite all appearances to the contrary, debt is in fact manageable, and yes, there is a way out of it, as can be seen in the case of MC Hammer, who has bounced back after many years in the red.
If you're having debt problems, consider consulting a debt management company. This is an expense that will solve, not cause, problems for you, and it's a much more worthy investment than all those expenses you've previously made that put you in debt in the first place.