Teri Polo is perhaps best known to moviegoers as Pam Focker — second grade teacher and wife of Ben Stiller’s male nurse alter ego in the Meet the Parents film trilogy.
But to the good folks at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the actress is just another American with a hefty debt to Uncle Sam.
And as of last week, Teri is officially bankrupt.
Polo is nearly a million dollars in debt, according to her formal Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition. The 44-year-old claims she owes roughly $772,000 in back taxes to the IRS and more than $36,000 in credit card bills to debtors like American Express and Chase.
Then there’s the $30,000 claim against her by former landlord Edwin McPherson. McPherson sued Polo in February, branding the actress a nightmare tenant who trashed the Los Angeles pad she was renting from him for $6,500 a month. McPherson argued that Teri left the home in “disgusting, deplorable condition” after allowing her eight pets to use the carpet as a litter box and fire hydrant.
According to court documents, Polo “left the sole walkway on the west side of the premises covered with dog feces, the odor of which permeated the premises and the neighborhood, to the extent that neighbors could smell the odor of feces in their own yards and homes.”
Polo has disputed McPherson’s claims.
In addition to her work in the Fockers franchise, Polo enjoyed a recurring role on The West Wing between 2005 to 2006. In her other television credits included bit parts on Castle, Criminal Minds and Law and Order: Los Angeles. Most recently, she has played the lead in the popular ABC Family series The Fosters, now in its second season.