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Bankruptcy and tax debt mar Ohio candidate's political campaign

Bankruptcy is designed to relieve people of the financial stress of crippling debts. It can provide them a fresh start in life free from many encumbrances. However, people considering this option should be aware of what debts they can and cannot have discharged.

A potential tea party candidate for Ohio’s lieutenant governor is now facing questions about her outstanding tax bills. In fact, her campaign may get derailed before it even starts because media outlets have reported that the potential candidate declared Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2008.

At the time, the woman listed disability income from Social Security as her main source of income. She valued her assets at approximately $1,200 and listed her debts to 62 creditors totaling more than $100,000.

The woman's debts were almost all related to a small cleaning business she owned for 10 years before it closed. The total amount of debts listed at that time included almost $6,000 in wages owed to employees.

According to news reports, the woman apparently still owes nearly $60,000 in back state and federal taxes as reflected in liens registered to the same address as the address for the former janitorial company. It isn't clear if her financial picture will keep her out of the race.

There are many reasons that contribute to a person’s need to get a fresh start by filing for bankruptcy. However, people should be aware of how back taxes are considered for people who file for bankruptcy, whether it's Chapter 7 or Chapter 13.

Source: The Columbus Dispatch, "Possible Ohio tea party candidate has tax debts," Joe Vardon, Jan. 3, 2014

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