Idaho Legislator Files for Bankruptcy Two Months After Dropped Case
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Idaho Legislator Files for Bankruptcy Two Months After Dropped Case

November 27, 2012

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Idaho state legislator and anti-tax crusader Phil Hart is filing for bankruptcy once again, less than two months after he voluntarily dropped another bankruptcy petition, according to an Associated Press report.

Hart’s dramatic weaving in and out of bankruptcy has made the Idaho politician the target of criticism from both conservatives and liberals across the country, although his latest filing is seen by many a wise move.

Sources say that Hart filed for bankruptcy again in order to prevent the federal government from foreclosing on his home. Bankruptcy’s automatic stay halts creditors from taking legal action, and sometimes helps stop home foreclosure altogether.

Hart, a Republican from Athol, Idaho, reportedly stopped paying federal income taxes in 1996 after filing an unsuccessful lawsuit against the government in which he claimed that federal income taxes should be illegal.

Thanks to his refusal to pay taxes for nearly two decades, the Internal Revenue Service has been aggressively seeking more than half a million dollars in back taxes owed by Hart, who just lost an election after spending four terms in the Idaho House of Representatives.

In an effort to gather some of Hart’s assets, the IRS has started foreclosure proceedings against Hart’s home, which prompted him to file for bankruptcy a few weeks after removing a prior bankruptcy petition from consideration.

Hart request that case be dismissed from bankruptcy court after a trustee determined that he was ineligible for Chapter 13 because he had too much unsecured debt. Sources say that Hart owes well over a million dollars to several different creditors.

Interestingly, sources note that the judge in charge of the case could choose to stop the foreclosure for as little as 30 days, because this is Hart’s second bankruptcy filing in a year.

The judge in Hart’s case, however, reportedly took mercy on the former politician, and decided that the foreclosure would be put on hold until the end of the bankruptcy case.

So, ironically, Hart is depending on a federal bankruptcy court, which is funded through federal taxes, to save him from his own decision to refuse to pay federal taxes.


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