But by getting rid of all of their real estate, the Petersons will also unload expensive tax bills, mortgage payments and maintenance fees -- drastically cutting their monthly expenses.
When all the dust settles, Pagliarini believes the Petersons will be able to afford to rent a house in their neighborhood on Matt's current salary, and still have about $1,200 extra cash every month to save and invest. Compare that with the $6,250 the Petersons are now losing every month.
Pagliarini told them, "At the end of the day, after the cameras are off, it's you two. And you really have to decide, 'Are we willing to make these kinds of changes?'"
In the last week, the Petersons have begun contemplating some of those changes. They spoke to a real estate broker about listing their house and rental property. Pagliarini says he is always a phone call away to offer support, but whether this family can dig out from all that debt is now up to two people -- Matt and Suzie Peterson.