Tennessee Political Candidate Explains Past Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
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Tennessee Political Candidate Explains Past Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

September 21, 2012

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Steve Glaser, a candidate for the Tennessee House of Representatives, is facing a problem similar to one faced by many other politicians in 2012: how to explain his past bankruptcy filing.

Glaser and his wife currently owe almost $90,000 to the Internal Revenue Service, and they have filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy four times since 1996, according to a report from The Tennessean.

According to Glaser, though, he is "not ashamed of anything,” and is "doing the best I can to live in the world like everybody else."

In recent years, thanks to the struggling economy, public figures like judges and political candidates have been filing for bankruptcy at a record pace.

And the high rate of bankruptcy among public officials has forced many of them to explain to their constituents why they would be able to protect the financial health of a community.

But while many politicians have only filed for bankruptcy one or two times, Glaser’s lengthy history in bankruptcy court does make his efforts a bit more challenging.

Sources say that, in the past 14 years, tax collectors at both the federal and state levels have filed at least 15 liens against Glaser for unpaid income taxes, as well as unpaid business and unemployment taxes for his law firm.

According to sources, the combined debts are worth about $158,000. Glaser responded to this information by telling local sources that he was "not a perfect candidate" and has had "ups and downs just like everyone else."

When asked by one reporter why his law firm had failed to pay taxes for so long, Glaser noted that he simply "didn’t have the money," which, in his view, isn’t out of the ordinary when one runs a small business.

And Glaser has a lot of experience working through the debt relief process. He and his wife reportedly first filed for bankruptcy in 2000, then filed again in 2004, but the case was eventually dismissed for technical reasons.

In 2005, the couple once again filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, and then filed again a few years later, reportedly thanks in part to high medical costs associated with the candidate’s recent cancer diagnosis.


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