So City Council At-Large Seat C candidate Ron Peabody chose not to disclose his tax returns to us, but that's ok, because we found his 2009 and 2010 gross income in another document--his Chapter 13 joint bankruptcy filing from February this year.
Yes, it appears Knoxville's most vocal opponent of the Ten-Year Plan might have been on the verge of becoming homeless himself. We haven't yet been able to reach Peabody or his wife Jamie - we've left voicemails and we've e-mailed him - but looking at the filing, it seems like the Peabodys refinanced their house and were having some trouble making payments.
According to Knox County property records, the Peabodys bought their house in November 2002 for $143,700, with a mortgage held by the Long Beach Mortgage Company. The bankruptcy filing shows they refinanced with Suntrust in 2005 and took out a $190,000 loan. (The county shows the house, at 7721 Luxmore Drive, as having an appraised value of $182,700.) As of the Feb. 2, 2011, filing, the Peabodys still owed $189,668.64 to the bank.
But that wasn't the sum total of their $217,302.50 of debt. There were $21,939.74 in student loans (which generally can't be dismissed by bankruptcy), and an additional $5,694.12 owed for things like unpaid AT&T cell phone bills from 2004 and 2006, an unpaid Knology bill from 2007, unpaid medical bills, bank overdraft charges, and a bounced check for $215.71 to Auto Zone in 2008. There were also unpaid small personal loans, but, surprisingly, there was no credit card debt.
You can read the whole thing below if you want the gory details. But the fact the Peabodys couldn't pay a $5.99 bill to LabCorp is already so depressing that we already feel dirty just posting this. But, you know, it's our job. If you're voting for someone to manage your city's finances, we feel like you should probably know that he and his wife messed up their own.
The Peabodys are now paying $1,458 a month to their creditors for the next 60 months, of which $1,087.81 goes to towards their mortgage. Oh, and about those gross wages - Peabody made $33,869.27 in 2010 and $42,189.80 in 2009.
Ron and Jamie Peabody's bankruptcy filing: tneb-166011485700.pdf