When you watch The Real Housewives of New Jersey online, you may get the impression that Teresa and Joe Giudice are still doing pretty well for themselves, despite their recent legal issues.
And who could blame you? The Giudices have gone to great lengths to keep up appearances. Teresa even borrowed a $2,500 handbag to go house hunting on last week's episode.
Sources say Teresa's goal was to look wealthy to real estate agents, even though her bankruptcy and credit issues have been all over the news.
Unfortunately for the Giudices, the folks showing homes in New Jersey have Internet access and know just as much about Teresa and Joe's sketchy past as the rest of us.
The ploy didn't work, and Teresa is reportedly having no luck downsizing to a smaller house.
Sources tell Radar Online that the family only has about $400,000 to spend on a new home. Currently, the Giudice's mansion is listed at $4 million, but restitution and legal fees will eat up the whole asking price, and then some.
"Their credit is in the toilet due to Chapter 13 bankruptcy," says one insider. "They would have trouble even getting an apartment in Newark because of their credit history."
"The fact is, they have almost no income coming in, and Joe is about to go to prison for up to four years."
We don't know about you, but we're about to write to the Giudice's judge.
We really need him to let Teresa avoid jail time and stay on the show so that we can see her try to keep up appearances while living in a place with no washer and dryer! That's probably the worst punishment she could imagine.