By Daniel Bukszpan
CNBC.com

The list of athletes who lost huge sums of money after their playing days ended is long. Evander Holyfield may have been fearsome in the ring, but that didn't stop him from nearly losing his house in 2008. Jose Canseco was a force to be reckoned with when he played major league baseball, but after his steroid use was made public the money dried up and he had to resort to reality TV gigs to keep the bills paid.

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Slideshows: Athletes' foreclosed homes

For many athletes who lose their former earning power, it's not just the paychecks and the prestige that go away, it's the stuff. The cars, the jewelry, and the admiration of the fans often disappear and, most painfully, sometimes the houses do, too.

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Many athletes spent their signing bonuses on huge mansions with extravagant amenities. When they couldn't keep up with the mortgage payments they were faced with foreclosure, like so many others during the housing crisis.

Who are some of the major athletes who have faced foreclosure?

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    Julius Erving

    Dr. J remains a legend almost 25 years after his retirement. But sadly he was not immune to falling on hard times, and in December 2010 those hard times cost him his house. Erving had purchased the 6,500-square-foot, five-bedroom St. George, Utah, home in 2006 and built a basketball court on the property that was decorated with the colors and logo of the Philadelphia 76ers. He moved out in January 2010 and listed the home for $2 million, but never found anyone to buy it. Erving defaulted on the mortgage and the home, which he described as "substantially underwater," went into foreclosure.

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