Riches to Rags: 5 Tales of Woe From Those Who Had It All and Lost It

From riches to rags, a financial; story of loss and balance.  Alamy
Climbing the ladder of success rung by rung can be a slow process. But once you get there, the opposite experience -- sliding down the chute of economic despair -- can happen all too quickly.

Those in the financial problem-solving business witness this riches-to-rags pattern every day. From their vantage point, it's easy to see how anyone -- no matter what their background or financial means -- can let bad money habits lead them into hard times.

"Even if you earn a law degree or have a high rank in the military, that doesn't mean you necessarily know how to handle money," says Albert Guadiano, counseling director for the Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Greater San Antonio.

Facing financial failure is tough for anyone -- perhaps even more so for successful people who want to keep up the facades of their former statuses. But eventually, they must take action to avoid total disaster -- and often that action is turning to a credit counseling organization.

We talked to credit counselors (one who is a former debt collector) across the country, and came back with five extreme cases of clients who went from riches to rags.

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A loan is a financial transaction in which one party the lender agrees to give another party the borrower a specific amount of money which must be paid back in full.

September 19 2013 at 3:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I believe the main problem in inheriting or making a lot of money quickly is not making the right investment choices for your future! All to many times we have seen the athlete, the celebrity, and the business owner all go bankrupt because of poor investment choices. I came across this great article awhile back and I believe this to be true...

April 22 2013 at 5:34 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Thanks a lot for presenting valuable stuff in your site and it is worthy to visit your site. I will visit this site in future and also suggest my friends.

April 22 2013 at 12:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
What's Shakin T

I had a home that was paid for, a 1/4 million in the bank and my most prized possession---my 9 year old daughter and was sitting on top of the world, or so I thought until my wife took everything, including my daughter. Now all I'm hoping for is---Karma baby!

April 18 2013 at 11:56 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

I will NEVER understand why folks can't manage money. It's common sense and so so easy.
Where most were blowing & going in our 20's, 30's, 40's, I was saving. Now at 50 and single, I haven't worked in a yr. May not ever work again. I financially secure enough I'm not worried. I'm not on unemployment or get any kind of other check. Strickly coming out of savings. If I can do it, anyone can do it and I'm a female doing it in a man's world. Did I mention I don't want or need a man. I don't neeeed to be pulled down.

April 18 2013 at 10:04 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

It matters not how much you make, but what you do with your money after you've made it.

April 18 2013 at 4:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I've said it before and will say it again: If u dont need it dont buy it... If u can't afford it: dont buy it.....

April 18 2013 at 1:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply