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Politician plagued by problematic bankruptcy

Bankruptcy is often thought of as a process where people declare that they have no money and a court allows them to cancel their debt. In reality, the process is far more complex than this, and sometimes a person may take actions that are not permitted, complicating or canceling the bankruptcy entirely. An elected official in a Chicago suburb, who is now seeking election, is currently under scrutiny for actions he took while in bankruptcy during his first term.

Just days after the man was elected as the president of the village, he filed for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, attempting to discharge credit card debt, a car loan, student debt and a mortgage. All in all, these debts totaled more than $600,000. The bankruptcy provided the man wide-ranging protection while he was serving the majority of his first term in office, but the complications are piling up again, just in time for the re-election campaign.

A few months ago, the man's bankruptcy was halted by a judge, citing the man's failure to make payments under the Chapter 13 agreement he made in 2013. In addition to the cancelled bankruptcy, his campaign may suffer from the revelations that he used credit cards owned by the village for seemingly personal reasons (although he did eventually pay back those expenses), and also drove a public vehicle for both business and personal use.

When reporters reached out to the man about the issues, he stated simply that he, like many other people, had experienced financial difficulties.

While there may be perfectly legitimate reasons for the man's questionable actions, they are certainly causing him additional problems and may derail his political career. If you are considering a bankruptcy procedure, be sure to do so under the guidance of an experienced attorney who can help you navigate the tricky terrain of the procedure, and help you prepare a plan to see the bankruptcy through to completion. Then you can truly make a fresh start and build a new life in the next chapter.

Source: The Daily Herald, "As Wheeling village president runs again, financial woes resurface," Chacour Koop, March 16, 2017

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