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The Rest Of The Story: Latham Cites Loss Of FSSA Gig In Bankruptcy

Fssa The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette reports on a bankruptcy filing by Michael Latham, the former chaplain for the Family and Social Services Administration whose position -- and his qualifications to hold it -- came under fire earlier this year, eventually resulting in his termination and the elimination of the job itself.

"The Rev. Michael Latham, head of the local NAACP, has filed for personal bankruptcy, a decision that comes after a particularly tumultuous year for the pastor.

"Filed in late October in U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Latham lists $254,221 in liabilities and $181,000 in assets. The pastor of Renaissance Baptist Church in Fort Wayne, Latham has been head of the local chapter of the NAACP since 1999. He narrowly defeated challenger Vince Robinson to hold on to the voluntary position late last year.

"Latham declined to comment on the bankruptcy filing, calling it a personal matter.

"In August, Latham found himself recovering from an unspecified serious illness and out of work when the Indiana Family and Social Service’s Administration eliminated his position as agency chaplain.

"Latham was hired for that position in April 2006, at a salary of $60,000, compared with $32,000 for other state chaplains. He was issued a state car and allowed to work from Fort Wayne.

"According to his bankruptcy paperwork, the loss of that job had a huge financial effect on the pastor.

"In a section asking for a description of an increase or decrease in income, Latham’s attorney wrote that Latham had recently lost his job with the state and received no salary from his church but rather certain living expenses and in-kind payments."

There's little doubt that Latham got his tailor-made state government gig because he kissed the Guv's butt during the campaign, and he clearly didn't have the skills to do the job, but this appears to be a sad ending to a story that never should have unfolded in the first place.

If you're a document hound, here's a copy of the filing: Latham Bankruptcy


The most intersting points from his bankruptcy:

1) He and his wife are separated according
to this. He has no money incoming on a
monthly basis, she's a receptionist at
at stockbroker. He apparently hasn't
received disability in 07.
2) He claims that he has received Zero
money in 2007.
3) He owes IRS and Ind Dept. of Revenue
an unknown amount?
4) He owes back child support.
5) They bought a relatively new Chrysler
in July 07 for which $ 28 K is owed.
Didn't he understand that he was on
his way out? No wonder Chrysler Financial
is losing money if he was in that much
debt 3 months prior to Chap. 7. Whoever
approved the loan for Chrysler ought to
be fired.
6) His attorney didn't charge anything
for fees so other than the Court costs
this was a freebie?

I have reviewed hundreds of bankruptcy petitions so I know what I speak.

I just got done reading the filing.

I thought it was kind of interesting how many non-medical bills he accumulated.

Also, the tax issue is suspect. Did he owe money to the Indiana Department of Revenue while he was employed by FSSA?

I'm re-evaluating the "sad ending" conclusion I reached prior to reviewing the claim. I have no experience reading these things, but this certainly isn't what I expected to find.

File doesn't open correctly. Even tried renaming to a word type and opening.

In my opinion a minister should not be putting themselves in this type of situation where they file for bankruptcy. I could see it if he was being treated for cancer or something like that and didn't have insurance to cover it but over $250,000? I wouldn't trust someone like him for any type of guidance. When I want guidance I want to know that the person has common sense and financially conservative. I doubt he can be a very good steward of the flock.

As a cancer survivor who was driven to the edge with excess medical bills (and I had insurance), I can tell you that this petition is strange on multiple fronts.

He earned roughly $80K in his total time of employment with the state. I'm guessing he had to pay for zero personal gas in that state car (and someone should look into that)...if so, it's a benefit for which he should be taxed.

You don't get this far under the busm with personal debts and tax obligation, that fast...a normal credit check would've shown he was likely swimming under a sea of debt when he got the state gig.

How much you wanna bet the "illness" turns up to be "stress" ?

This man is undeniably a fraud.

An illness can drive you into bankruptcy. But this petition has none of the characteristics of such a case.

This is livin high on the hog, purely and simply, and inventing an illness to leave a job...that's why he has no disability payments yet. Stress is the hardest disability to prove. Standard state disability insurance only has a 60-day elimination period, so he should be getting it by now, absent unusual circumstances.

"Unusual," as in, the insurance provider doesn't believe him.

It's all the more frustrating because this walking sack of lies is a man of the cloth, hired for a job that shoudln't exist anyway, to push God knows what (pun intended) on the FSSA employees.

There is nothing--NOTHING--in this whole story that is kosher.

I smell a good campaign commercial for any Democratic candidate for governor in 2008.

Just re-read the petition. It's a dog-ate-my-homework document if ever there were one.

Pitiful for anyone. Double pitiful for a minister.

Very little medical debt. The fool went out and bought a new car. Talk about whistling through the graveyard.

Is anyone else having trouble with the file?

It opens fine on my computer, but I use a Mac, so I may need to reformat it.

I had trouble opening it in Firefox, but when I tried in IE it worked fine.

Opens as gibberish with Firefox on my Mac. Haven't tried IE 'cuz I hate it. Maybe Safari?

Nope, Safari gets the same page of letters as Firefox.

Those using other than IE save the file as a pdf and then open it. It wasn't saved with the right extension.

If filing for federal bankruptcy do state laws allow for exemptions? Seems odd.

Question should be asked: When did Latham become delinquent with child support? Case was first opened 4/12/93 and last active 9/5/07. Last active was probably when bankruptcy was filed or data compiled.

Was he delinquent prior to working for the state or after?

All of the collections showing claim amount as zero indicate he had problem with paying bills in the past? Or that they just gave up trying to collect?

Majorly delinquent on child support? ...and this was the preacher running around hollering all about "Family Values" and "Fatherhood" ???

Yeah, Wilson. Same guy.

Hypocritcal, dontcha think?

Campaign commercial fodder.

Let me try to upload it in a different format, but I'm using Firefox, and it works just fine.

I suspect this has something to do with PACER not playing nicely with my computer.

Further perspective. I'm not having any problems opening up and reading it.

Federal bankruptcy law allows a state
to opt out of most federal bankruptcy exemptions. Indiana opted out a long
time ago so mostly Indiana exemptions
are utilized.

The big medical debt is for $ 34,000.
Insurance, if he had it, may cut some/most
of that amount down. He was sued by that doctor.

My mistake yesterday was that $ 28 K
should heve been his valuation of the Chrysler, not what he owed on it.
He actually owed $ 35 K on it.

All of the zeroes on Sched. F debts mean
either that he might owe something for
those and is listing them just to be safe
or he knows he owes but wasn't very diligent in getting credit reports or keeping copies of his monthly invoices that come in the mail.

In several senses, it looks like these
schedules were "slopped together" real quick because some of the answers from the Statement of Financial Affairs aren't consistent with Schedules D, E and F
debts, such as existing lawsuits. So, the doctor's lawsuit who is owed $ 34 K on Sched. F isn't cross-referenced in the litigation question in the Statement
of Financial Affairs.

Thanks, 11:04. It sounds like you've been through this before, professionally or personally. Either way, your expertise is appreciated.

And after even more review, it's never been more clear that the governor needed to vett this candidate a little more seriously.

Ever notice how certain folks get a "pass" on the vdtting thing, if they wrap themselves in faith? As in Ron Gibson?

Ultimately, you can't beat the True Judge.

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