Former United States Rep. Kerry Bentivolio– after struggling for months with severe monetary difficulties– fileddeclared bankruptcy defense Monday, listing nearly $300,000 in financial obligations and unpaid bills.In his bankruptcy petition, Bentivolio noted$100 in cash and $200 in a cost savings account. The Milford Republican stated he owes almost$100,000 in mortgage payments, law firm Dickinson Wright practically $44,000 and nearly $1,800 in unsettled lease for his Washington, DC, apartment.The situation wasnt much various in December,
when he recounted how he was preparing to head house with barely enough cash to get back to Michigan. Although he made$174,000 a year in Congress, Bentivolio said he didnt have a credit card and was only able to invest what he had to his name.The day Congress adjourned for the year, he leased a U-Haul to restore
some furnishings he bought at Ikea– a dresser and a day bed– along with all of his matches. He tried to sell his furnishings but didnt get any takers.Was it a true blessing or a curse? he asked rhetorically of his time in Washington.
Its been an excellent driving lesson. … This has actually been a really fantastic experience.In an interview off the Homeyour home floor in December, Bentivolio informed The Detroit News that he was facing
serious financial difficulties after an Oakland County judge ruled the one-term member of Congress needed to pay $120,000 to his fired former campaign manager, Robert Dindoffer, and said he might have to fileapply for bankruptcy.This is exactly what happens when a regular individual gets an opportunity to come to Congress, he said.Asked what he prepared to do when he left Congress, Bentivolio said: I plan
to follow in the steps of Jesus: broke and homeless.In 2012, Bentivolio became the unexpected congressman, as some called him, after then-Rep. Thad McCotter failed to send enough legitimate trademarks to qualifyget the August 2012 primary. After an embarrassed McCotter resigned, Bentivolio was the only Republican prospect on the main tally and went on to capture the seat in the November 2012 basic election.The 63-year-old former part-time reindeer farmer and school instructor slammed the conduct of his previous project supervisor and questioned the costs and his commitment. Dindoffer, a Grosse Pointe Park attorney, sued Bentivolio in March seeking damages for charges, expenses and a bonus offer he declared Bentivolio owed him for managing his 2012 campaign.Bentivolio decreased to comment further Thursday.Settlement provided Bentivolios bankruptcy legal representative, W. Kent Clarke, stated Thursday that Bentivolio made an offer to settle the court judgment.He said the one-time money settlement for a minimal amount that would have covered the legal fees and some additional costs wasnt accepted by the deadline they had set, so Bentivolio filedapplied for bankruptcy.We attempted to solve the matter, Clarke stated, saying the authorization judgment was inexpedient due to the fact that it was clear that(Bentiovolio )was not going to easily pay the amount.Clarke said he was working basically for free for Bentivolio– having actually received$50 for 50 hours of work so far on Bentivolios behalf.In his claim, Dindoffer said he was fired without factor in April 2013 and was paid just$16,000 for 3 months work. Dindoffer estimated he was still due more than$154,000, which consisted ofthat included a bonus to be paid should Bentivolio be elected.The judgment is againstprotests Bentivolio and 2 of his campaign committees, Kerry Bentivolio for United States Congress and Bentivolio for Congress. The judgment, which represents 1.5 times the amount due and owed to Dindoffer, deals with the last pending claim and closes the case, the judge said in
his ruling.Bentivolios finances were stressed when Birmingham repossession attorney Dave Trott invested more than $2.4 million to win the August GOP primary. Bentivolio ended up raising about $747,000 for his unsuccessful primary fight and a quixotic write-in candidateship in the basic election that netted him less than 1 percent of the vote.Bentivolio said he sold his reindeer earlier in 2014 to pay bills and fund his campaign along with loaning from his retirement fund. He stated he has actually been beat up by establishment Republicans and the media.Bentivolios campaign collected $129,576 in debt, according to the Bentivolio project
committees submitting on Dec. 31. Bankruptcy uncommon for lawmakers It is less common than it made use of to be for former members of Congress to fileapply for bankruptcy, said Kyle Kondik, who follows Congress for the University of Virginia Center for Politics. The net worth of Congress has grown in time, Kondik said.The net worth of the 50 wealthiest members of Congress ranges from$6.2 million to $294.2 million, according to Roll Call magazine.Bentivolios uninspired fundraising and project financial problems started to surface area in early 2014, causing one campaign supervisor, David Wolkinson, to give up 3 months before
the primary with Trott.Im sorry to become aware of Congressman Bentivolios financial difficulties, I wish him the finest in dealing with these issues and I hope the lenders are able to
recover as much cash as possible, stated Wolkinson, who gave up as project supervisor in May.Thomas Llewellyn, a tea celebrationa tea ceremony activist from Milford and close pal of Bentivolios, said the former congressman was never ever given a chance to show himself by the Republican politician Partys establishment.Hes a definitely been up versus a lot these past number of years, being the target of a great deal of ferocious attacks, Llewellyn said. Hes a strong man, and I know hes going to bounce back.GOP establishment to blame?But Kondik said the previous congressman was seen as a great soldier and reputable vote for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and former House Bulk Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va
. He helped cast one of 2 choosing procedural votes in December that assisted advance a$ 1 trillion spending costs and triggered national political writers to announce that Bentivolio conserved Christmas from a spending plan stalemate and possible government shutdown.Boehner and Cantor held
fundraisers for Bentivolios re-election campaign.Even though Bentivolio doesn’t have as bad a relationship with the facility as he believes, due to the fact that of his support from Boehner and Cantor, hes not a suave smooth expert,
Kondik said.Bentivolios background in military service, construction, public school education, reindeer raising and Santa Claus acting does not match him to follow the career course of other former members of Congress, he stated. Former Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Howell, has entered into radio commentary, while ex-Rep. Dave Camp, R-Midland, is pursuing policy consulting.Hes not somebody you would anticipate to easily change into the lobbying world, for circumstancesfor example, Kondik said. Hes not a profession political leader. He doesn’t have the natural post career work options that perhaps your normal former member has.DShepardson@detroitnews.com!.?.!Bentivolios liabilities Former Congressman listed$294,177.99 in liabilities when he filedapplied for bankruptcy defense: Protected claims!.?.!? CCO Mortgage$87,269.99!.
?. !? Charter One (2nd home mortgage)$11,558!.?. !? Congressional Federal Cooperative credit union(lien)
$10,400 Unsecured claims!.?. !? Dickinson Wright (legal recommendations) $43,950!.?. !? Shifman amp; Carlson(legal recommendations) $11,000!.?. !? Karen Bentivolio(loan) $10,000!.?.!? Robert Dindoffer$120,000 Source: Bentivolios filing