“90 Day Fiancé”
For those of you unfamiliar with “90 Day Fiancé”, the TLC reality series has been going strongly since January 2014, and has over nine seasons. The show has become something of a pop culture staple on social media, thanks to the absurdity of many of its couples and the meme-worthy moments they’ve given us over the years.
The American citizens who participate in “90 Day Fiancé” are all trying to bring their foreign partners to the US by obtaining a K-1 visa. If the foreign fiancés are granted the coveted visa, they have three months to tie the knot, or risk being forced to return to their home countries. The visa allows both parties to live together while they plan the wedding, but often times, the cultural differences and inter-family drama put a damper on the proceedings. In fact, it’s not unheard of for many couples to break up before they’ve even had the chance to walk down the aisle.
The downsides of starring in “90 Day Fiancé” include social media negativity and public scrutiny. The upsides, however, is the fifteen minutes of fame which many cast members have used to their advantage – a good example would be Chantel Everett and Pedro Jimeno, the first couple to be given their own spin-off show. Plenty of “90 Day Fiancé” alums have made thousands of dollars since appearing in the show, while others continue to lead simple lifestyles and work ordinary day jobs. Today, we’ll be seeing which cast members squandered their money, and went broke.
In February 2023, it was confirmed that Daniele Gates, who has been part of the “90 Day” universe for years, had filed for bankruptcy. According to paperwork obtained by news outlets, the reality TV personality had $22,420 worth of assets, but liabilities of $224,584. Her monthly income was listed as $4,714, almost $1,500 short of her $6,017 expenses, and she was also saddled with over $63,000 in student loan debt.
Just a year prior to the filing, Daniele announced to her friends during an episode of “90 Day Fiancé: The Other Way” that she would be quitting her job as a high school teacher in New York City to move to the Dominican Republic, her husband Yohan Geronimo’s home country. Daniele’s friends were appalled and taken aback by the shock news, especially when she mentioned that she needed to remain at her job for one more year to receive an extra $15,000 per year in her pension.
The financially unstable New Yorker seemed happy with her decision, noting: “An extra $15,000 a year when I’m 63 isn’t gonna be that meaningful to me.” When concerned fans of the show began storming her social media comments with advice and feedback, she took to Instagram to explain that New York City employees are eligible for a six-figure pension after working a municipal job for 19 years. She then explained her plan of borrowing $100,000 from her pension to invest in a property in the Dominican Republic, which she would then rent out for $1,000 a week.
Danielle appeared to have everything perfectly planned out, having calculated that she’d be making a $40,000 yearly profit after deducting $10,000 a year for property expenses. “Is $40,000 more or less than $15,000?” she asked her followers. “Do I have to work in jobs that make me miserable and traumatize me every single day? No, I don’t. That’s passive income and that’s in just two years.”
Danielle stuck to her guns and ignored her family and friends’ concerns, saying goodbye to New York City in June 2022 and moving to the Dominican Republic with her husband. After moving, Danielle focused on her wellness brand, and using the Ayurveda alternative medicine system and the chakra system to offer yoga therapy services. The TLC sensation also joined Cameo, which allows fans to pay for personalized content from their favorite influencers, and began promoting wellness retreats to earn some extra cash.
Somehow, despite having multiple revenue streams and earning up to $3,000 per episode of “90 Day Fiancé”, Danielle soon began struggling with debt. Her husband’s financial situation remains unclear, but in the show’s Season 4 trailer, Danielle was seen complaining about having to pay for everything. It’s evident that being the breadwinner of the relationship was draining Danielle mentally and physically, and although Yohan claimed to work as a personal trainer at a resort in his home country, he somehow never seemed to have any money.
#90DayFiance Michael Jessen and Juliana Custodio confirm split with lengthy statements. Michael's was apologetic and positive — Juliana's not so much. https://t.co/2JZvpr7OMG pic.twitter.com/cQysfe70ae
— Starcasm (@starcasm) October 12, 2021
Unsurprisingly, Yohan’s family also expected her to be able to fund their lifestyles, given that Danielle didn’t mind losing out on $15,000 a year. For now, the reality TV starlet has yet to accomplish her ambitious real estate dreams and achieve the passive income streams she had initially counted on.
Other cast members who filed for bankruptcy include Michael Jessen, who starred in Season 7 and kept up appearances of a lavish lifestyle during his relationship with Juliana Custodio. After purchasing a million-dollar property in July 2019, he stopped making payments after less than a year and was taken to court by the mortgage lender when they filed a foreclosure complaint against him, essentially proving that his braggadocious image was nothing more than smoke and mirrors.
In 2022, there were also three separate civil lawsuits filed against Michael for not paying off $27,000 in credit card debt. Despite managing to sell his property for $200,000 more than what he originally paid, Michael was nowhere near as economically comfortable as he’d have people believe.
The infamous Ed “Big Ed” Brown, who is remembered for buying his young fiancé Rose mouthwash as a gift, and telling her to shave her legs, also filed for bankruptcy two times before joining the “90 Day” universe – once in 2004 and another in 2017. In 2004, Ed’s six-figure debt included student loans, phone bills, medical bills, credit cards, and car payments; the claim was closed in the same year. Nevertheless, he filed for bankruptcy a second time over a decade later, owing $185,000. The paperwork mentioned that he somehow had just $3 in his bank account, after burning through his $3,000 monthly salary.
90 Day Fiance: B90 Strikes Back star Big Ed Brown wears his robe at home while speaking to viewers from his home.
Posted by Famous Room on Tuesday, June 23, 2020
Last but not least, Tarik Myers filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 13 in early 2021. Despite his decent income, Tarik was struggling to pay the bills; luckily, he was able to stop his house from going into foreclosure. Amazingly, it was Tarik’s third time filing for bankruptcy, having filed once in 2008 and again the following year. The TV juggernaut had also claimed almost $500,000 in liabilities in 2021, with $124,000 being unpaid state and federal taxes.
It’s unlikely that these “90 Day” members will start making wiser financial decisions anytime soon. For the time being, the show has been renewed for a tenth season which will air sometime in mid-2023; no official release date has been confirmed just yet.