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HGTV stars seek personal bankruptcy after lawsuit

Many California readers are familiar with the reality television show "Kitchen Cousins." The HGTV hit features two contractors who are also cousins and follows their progress through multiple home renovation projects. The pair were recently sued over the work completed on one home, the result of which was a sizable judgment against them. As a result of this and other financial stressors, the cousins recently filed personal bankruptcy.

The job that led to the lawsuit was a renovation project on a property that was once the home of Yankees player Don Mattingly. The current owners of that home sued the cousins and the construction company owned by one of the men, claiming that the renovation work done on their home was not up to par. The project was not featured on "Kitchen Cousins" or any of the other HGTV programming in which the parties are involved.

The result of that lawsuit was an award of $860,000 to the homeowners. The alleged deficiencies included sheetrock flaws, ductwork that was not properly installed and incomplete plumbing connections. In addition, the contractors were accused of lying about the inspection process and quitting before the job was fully complete.

In seeking personal bankruptcy protection, both men are taking actions to protect their financial futures, which is an option available to individuals in California and across the nation. Should the bankruptcy cases move forward, the award amount that resulted from the lawsuit will be added to their other debts, and a plan for repayment of all debts will be laid out and approved by the courts. In this way, the contractors may be able to pay a lesser amount to satisfy their financial obligations, and can then move forward to new projects, including a new HGTV show that is currently in the works.

Source: Wyckoff, NJ Patch, "HGTV's 'The Cousins' File For Bankruptcy Over Bergen Renovation", Daniel Hubbard, Aug. 12, 2015

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