A candidate's bid for a Starr County commissioner position is being questioned due to a bankruptcy petition he appears to have filed more than seven years ago. Records indicate that Jesus Maria "Chuy" Alvarez filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in the U.S. Court in the Southern District of Texas in March 2005. Alvarez reportedly owed hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt, including unpaid taxes.
This is said to be a concern because if Alvarez is elected he would be in charge of a department with a budget of more than $970,000 for the fiscal year of 2011-2012. Alvarez's bankruptcy was dismissed after the trustee challenged the petition due to filing errors.
At the time of filing, Alvarez owed more than $70,000 in property taxes to two separate government entities. He also owed the Internal Revenue Service $47,102.86 for income taxes. Some of his debts owed to government entities date as far back as 1990. The candidate reportedly has put $20,000 toward his payment plan. He owes a total of $174,000 to his creditors.
Alvarez, however, claims that the reports of his bankruptcy are incorrect and he has refused to answer reporters' questions about the subject.
Whether this individual filed for bankruptcy or not and chooses not to talk about it is not the point of this entry. The point we want readers to take away is that personal bankruptcy is not the negative thing that seems to be suggested by the reports.
While it remains to be seen how this particular case will play out in the court of public opinion, the simple fact remains that bankruptcy is legitimate for individuals who find themselves in circumstances beyond their control to consider. It serves as a means of addressing their obligations in a controlled and rational manner under the supervision of the court, with the hope of emerging to a position of financial stability.
Source: The Monitor