Gary DourdanR4351/DPA/Press Association Images

Former CSI actor Gary Dourdan has reportedly filed for bankruptcy. The TMZ website says he filed at the end of August.

So what happened, and what can we learn from the stars who go bankrupt?


Dourdan

Dourdan, who played analyst Warrick Brown in the series, got into trouble paying his mortgage. He now owes a small fortune to a series of banks, and is embroiled in a lawsuit against Union Bank.

He has an income of $14,883 a month, but says the vast majority of that is eaten up by bills - leaving him with $321 a month.

It's hard to see just how he managed to rack up serious debts, but clearly looking at the size of his monthly bills, there is a distinct sense that he has the financial commitments that matched the income he was on before - and he has failed to downsize as his income fell.

It's the first rule of staying on the right side of debt:

1) When your circumstances change you need to react fast - or you'll end up creating problems for yourself.

And there are no shortage of celebrities in financial trouble to teach us the rest of the five rules of debt management.

2) Stay on top of your finances

This was what shot Miquita Oliver in the foot. The TV presenter was declared bankrupt earlier this year at the age of 27, after being unable to pay a tax bill of £174,000.

We can all be surprised by a bill out of the blue if we don't pay attention. So it's essential that we all know what is due and when, so that the gas bill doesn't leave us in a hole on the second day of the month.



3) Understand the risks you are taking

When Westlife star Shane Feelan went bankrupt this summer, it was because of the collapse of his property portfolio. Whether he understood it or not, there was a huge amount of risk tied up in it - including an entire estate of 90 houses.

4) Only risk what you can afford to lose

Shami Ahmed, the man behind Joe Bloggs jeans was declared bankrupt almost three years ago, after losing millions spread betting. It's a strange form of betting, and the losses can be far more than the sums you put in, so it's only for those who have money to risk and the strength to get out before it is too late.

5) Be careful what you spend

Elton John was a classic example of an over-spending. He has made a small fortune from his blockbuster career, but is known for his extravagant spending and luxury lifestyle. He filed for bankruptcy in 2002 after getting the balance wrong, and spent his fortune even faster than he could make it.

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