Just when financial pundits claim that the economy is improving many rich and famous individuals are losing their homes to foreclosure.
Just this week, a Tudor mansion in Bel-Air belonging to film star Nicolas Cage was in foreclosure auction and reverted to the lender. On Wednesday, Richard Fuscone, a former top Wall Street executive, declared personal bankruptcy, forestalling a foreclosure auction that had been scheduled this week on his 14-acre Westchester mansion. Last month a Manhattan condominium owned by Italian film producer Vittorio Cecchi Gori was sold in a foreclosure auction for $33.2 million.
In February alone, 352 homes nationwide in this category were scheduled for foreclosure auction, the final step before a bank acquisition. That is the largest monthly number of these so-called notices of sale since the financial crisis began. By comparison, in all of 2009, there were 1,312 such notices.
We often hear about ordinary Americans unable to unload their upside down homes even if they are in excellent condition. But even the celebrity Nicholas Cage was unable to sell his 11,817-square-foot Bel-Air property for $35 million. Despite Cage’s celebrity status and prime location he received no bids from investors and his home was foreclosed on by the lender. This year is ripe for more foreclosures in the wealthy category despite many wealthy homeowners having more resources available to stave off foreclosure. But even if you are wealthy, you will eventually lose your home to foreclosure after time passes and your resources are exhausted. It’s also important to note that many wealthy individuals (as well as those who are poorer) are unable to face the fact that they may need help digging out of a financial hole even if they are facing foreclosure. In the case of Nicholas Cage as well as other wealthy foreclosure victims, their financial problems began well before foreclosure was looming and that would have been an ideal time to consider their options, including bankruptcy.