Three city council candidates have prior bankruptcy cases

Lori Martin Gregory, Greg Steen and Curtis Jones, left to right.

At least three candidates running for Ocala City Council have previously filed for bankruptcy, according to public records.

A review of all candidates running for city seats showed that Curtis Jones, Lori Martin Gregory and Greg Steen all previously filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Jones and Martin Gregory are among the six candidates vying for the District 4 seat, and Greg Steen is seeking the District 5 seat on the council.

Jones and his wife filed for individual Chapter 7 bankruptcy in the Middle District of Florida in 2013.

Jones listed almost $60,000 in total liabilities against about $9,000 in assets, according to court records.

Jones owed just more than $7,000 in taxes or other debt to the government as well as about $53,000 in unsecured claims that included medical, utility, cash advance loans, cable, student loans, and charge card debt, records showed.

The $9,000 in personal property included two vehicles, a 2001 Chevy Silverado and a 2003 Ford Taurus SES as well as various household goods.

Jones did not immediately return a call for comment on Monday evening.

Lori Martin Gregory filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in the Central District of California in 2005.

Gregory’s address, according to the bankruptcy form, was listed as Manhattan Beach, California, which is just outside of Los Angeles.

She listed just more than $64,000 in total liabilities against about $13,000 in total assets, according to the bankruptcy records.

Her major asset was a 2002 Mitsubishi Montero Sport. The vehicle was listed with an outstanding loan balance of roughly $21,000.

She was not required to surrender any property in the bankruptcy, as she was not listed as owning any. She was allowed to keep possession of the vehicle.

Of the $64,000 in total liabilities, more than $30,000 was owed to Chase, and nearly $6,000 to Nordstrom, both of which were shown to be charged off, along with another $2,500 owed to Providian Financial.

The remaining debts were made up of medical-related, phone, parking tickets, and utility charges.

Martin Gregory, also did not immediately reply to messages left on Monday.

Greg Steen filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2010, also in the Middle District of Florida, according to court records.

Steen and his wife listed assets of nearly $78,000 compared to more than $141,000 in liabilities.

Steen listed his occupation as self-employed at Family’s Choice Electrical Repair, his electrical contracting business. In 2010, he had been employed for two and half years, according to the filing.

The Steens surrendered a home in Summerfield, which held two mortgages. They owned $27,000 more than the property was worth, according to records.

$5,800 was reaffirmed debt to a family member who had a lien on his vehicle.

Of the listed liabilities, more than $38,500 was credit card debt.

“During the economy crash and having a new company, my family felt the pain firsthand. Having gone through financial pains early in life is why I’m so passionate about making sure we have affordable housing, good-paying jobs and a healthy economy,” Steen wrote on Monday via text message.

Records also show that another bankruptcy was filed in 2001 by someone with Steen’s same name and the same last four digits of his Social Security number, according to court documents.

That case was not available for review electronically on Monday.

Steen replied that he did not recall a bankruptcy from that time.


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