'Real Housewife of NJ' Teresa Giudice Is $11M in Debt

Living large for the cameras turns out to have a painful price tag, as the reality-TV star is finding out

If you've seen Bravo's Real Housewives of New Jersey, you may be under the impression that Teresa Giudice is the only person in America unaffected by the recession. How many times have viewers watched her waltz into a designer boutique, buy everything her daughters (all under age 10) ask for, and pay the multi-thousand-dollar bill in cash? Unfortunately for Teresa, her spending sprees seem to have caught up with her: the New York Post has discovered that the Guidices are deeply in debt, to the tune of 11 million dollars.

Here's the other shocker: According to the Post, Teresa and hubby Joe allegedly make only $79,000 a year. As the average American income goes, that's not bad -- but factor in four children, a new mansion and a couple cars, and there's not a lot of extra dough left for daily shopping sprees. So with the way she spends, it's easy to see how Teresa racked up over $100,000 on credit card bills alone. That said, Teresa isn't the worst offender in the family: business owner Joe has reportedly racked up $5 million dollars of his own debt, mostly related to business investments. As for the luxurious home that the Giudices spent season 1 decorating, the bank has moved to foreclose on it. Two of their other houses have also reportedly been seized: a beach house with three mortgages on it, and a Lincoln Park home with four mortgages. (When you have eight mortgages and only three houses, you know you're in trouble.) Allegedly, the couple has also fallen behind on car payments, fertility treatment bills -- even their phone bills.

You may be wondering how the Guidices landed in the lap of luxury in the first place, on less than six figures a year. While we don't know their financial history, court records state that they receive $120,000 a year in "assistance" from family members. (Would those family members include the grandpa who helped Teresa make tomato sauce in the driveway? Guess canning your own tomatoes pays off!) And the family should have a little more money coming in now that Teresa's cookbook, Skinny Italian, is a New York Times bestseller. But they'd do well to tone down their rampant spending. When her house was being built, Teresa famously said, "I don't want to live in somebody else's house -- that's gross." But getting a "used" house would be a good idea at this point -- and maybe even some secondhand children's clothes, too. Teresa Giudice, meet the Goodwill store!

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Are you surprised that Teresa Giudice's family is in financial trouble? Chime in below!

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