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Wife’s credit card spending may have brought down Ed McMahon

Connie Prater

By now, most people have heard about famous NBC Tonight Show sidekick Ed McMahon’s financial woes. Deep in debt, the celebrity may be in danger of losing his Beverly Hills mansion because he can’t pay his bills.

One report says Citi is one of the creditors on McMahon’s heels. The large credit card issuer claims McMahon and his wife Pamela owe more than $179,000 in credit card debt and attorneys fees. Reports are that the couple owes nearly $750,000 in total credit card debt.

That amount is probably staggering to the average credit card borrower, who, according to TransUnion, carried an average of $1,600 in credit card debt in the first quarter of 2008. How does one amass such a debt?

McMahon’s financial woes and the finances of Republican presidential candidate John McCain released recently provide a glimpse into how the other half lives (Actually it’s not the other “half;” numerous U.S. Census studies show the top 10 percent of Americans own more than three-fourths of the wealth in the United States.)

Reports are that McMahon’s wife has charged up a lot of debt — a reminder that we should have regular discussions with our spouses and partners about credit and debt. He probably should have reined in her spending. But he more than likely was too embarrassed to tell her that his income just wasn’t what it used to be and she could no longer spend as if it were. Sadly, many couples find themselves in this situation. Better to be embarrassed than bankrupt, though.

See related: 11 signs your mate has credit problems, TransUnion: credit card debt, delinquency declined in Q1

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  • Robert Lewis

    Before Ed McMahon: Pamela’s Federal Tax Lien, judgments and liens

  • Steve Peters

    The poor guy at his age was probably afraid that if he reigned in his wife’s spending, she might leave him and who would take care for him then? She certainly doesn’t impress me as very bright and who knows how loyal she would be once the “gravy boat has sailed”?

  • gumball

    This is why wise Rich guys hire money-budget managers that serve as a go-between on spending, investing and other allowances in marriage. You got to get them to agree before the credit level is raised, or buying and spending monthly can exceed certain limits. UH HUH

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