Fans of TV home makeover shows enjoy watching the big reveal, when the old home is barely recognizable after the renovators and designers complete their work. Viewers in South Carolina may imagine that owning such a home would be a dream come true, and the stunned and excited expressions of the show’s homeowners seem to confirm that. However, what viewers may not realize is that many of the people presented on these shows end up in foreclosure.

One woman highlighted on the show “Extreme Makeover” hoped the renovations would be a turning point. Her husband had recently died after a seven-year battle with hepatitis, and the woman was left to maintain their dilapidated 1860s farm house with her three sons. The crews of the makeover show demolished her old house and replaced it with a lavish four-bedroom home containing personalized bedrooms for the children and a flat-screen TV.

The woman had already been struggling to meet her mortgage payments, and after the renovation, her property taxes tripled and her home insurance rates soared. Two years after the show rebuilt her home, the woman was injured in a car accident, and she fell even further behind on her mortgage. The mortgage company agreed to negotiate with her, but even the modification payments were too high. Finally, the bank foreclosed on her home and sold it at auction.

Foreclosure is a devastating event. South Carolina families who lose their homes are often left to struggle for years to reclaim their lives. However, with the help of a compassionate attorney, they may discover alternatives to foreclosure, including bankruptcy relief.

Source: USA Today, “Bank forecloses on ‘Extreme Makeover’ homeowner”, Beth LeBlanc, May 26, 2017