New Jersey actress turned to baking apple cakes to avoid foreclosure
The idea came from brainstorming with a consumer credit counselor
She resolved to sell 100 cakes in 10 days at $40 each to pay mortgage, debts
So far, she's sold about 200 cakes, attracting the attention of an Internet retailer
By Allan ChernoffCNN Senior Correspondent
TEANECK, New Jersey (CNN) -- Actress Angela Logan has played many roles off-stage to earn a living. She's worked as a teacher, model and hairdresser and is studying to be a nurse.
A contractor promised to renovate Logan's home. Instead, she says he took the money and left the job unfinished.
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But when she fell into foreclosure on her Teaneck, New Jersey, home, Logan turned to baking an apple cake her family had always loved.
"It was a flash of desperation," Logan said. "I thought, 'Wow. We could sell these cakes, they're so good.' "
Logan named her delicacy Mortgage Apple Cake and resolved to sell 100 in 10 days at $40 each to meet a mortgage payment, pay off bills and qualify for a federal program that could lower her monthly payments.
She advertised the cake to everyone she knew, including her classmates.
"The hardest part was saying, 'Can you buy my cakes, this is my problem,' because admitting to your friends that you're in foreclosure, and that you need their help, that's a hard thing to say," Logan said.
Two years ago, a contractor promised to renovate Logan's brick-and-stucco home. But instead, Logan says he took the money and did only a portion of the work -- leaving the entire second floor bare to the beams and plastic wrap still covering much of the exterior.
In Depth: Money & Main St.
Essence.com: Home sweet home: How Angela Logan saved her house by baking
Logan's financial squeeze tightened when one of the actress' talent agencies shut down without paying her for commercial work.
The 55-year-old divorced mother of three fell far behind on her mortgage and other debt payments, leading her to seek help from Consumer Credit Counseling of New Jersey. Counselor Pamela Glass brainstormed with Logan to envision potential extra sources of income.
"We put our heads together to make extra money," Glass said. "I said, 'Take a look at what you can do.' She said, 'I bake once in a while'. I said, 'Well, maybe you can do some baking.' "
When Logan asked, neighbors, fellow church congregants and classmates responded. Soon she was baking night and day, two cakes at a time. Al Hamdi, general manager of the Hilton in nearby Hasbrouck Heights, heard of Logan's plan and offered the hotel's four giant ovens, letting her accelerate production.
"She was going to do something out of the box to save her home and her family. That was the inspiring part for us," Hamdi said.
Logan figures she's baked about 200 cakes -- double her goal. And since qualifying for the federal Make Home Affordable program, her monthly mortgage payment is dropping by nearly 20 percent
Other Americans in a financial bind can also find creative answers to their cash crunch, Logan said.
"Find your talent. Find something you can do that will help," she said. Watch as Logan describes the circumstances that led her to bake the Mortgage Apple Cake »
Many hobbies have the potential to generate extra cash: teaching a skill like playing an instrument or speaking a foreign language; home repairs for those who are handy; even dog-walking or pet-sitting for animal lovers.
"Some people have extra skills they don't use," Glass said.
Internet retailer Bake Me A Wish! got a whiff of the Mortgage Apple Cake and is preparing to mass-produce it and share the proceeds with Logan. The company says it already has 650 Mortgage Apple Cake orders.
"We're going to be baking cakes together, develop a whole line of cakes, Angela Logan Cakes," said Josh Kaye, president of Bake Me A Wish!
Escaping foreclosure could propel Logan to a new career in baking. But she's still studying nursing, knowing from experience never to depend upon just one role.