House candidate Wright filed for bankruptcy in 2011
District 54 GOP hopeful racked up $74K in debt
The Republican House candidate who touts his business acumen and fiscal responsibility filed for bankruptcy a year ago.
House District 54 GOP candidate Jared Wright lost his home and had cars repossessed as a result of owing more than $74,000 to creditors, according to his inch-thick March 2011 Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Denver.
Some of the debts include more than $12,000 to credit card companies, about $11,000 to collection agencies and debt buyers and $1,000 owed to a Grand Junction tanning salon for a year’s membership.
He also had more than $40,000 in auto loans for a 2007 Toyota Prius, a 1967 Chevy Camaro and a 2004 Mini Cooper.
The Camaro was bought for $26,000, and the Prius cost $18,000. Both were later repossessed.
In addition to losing some of his property, Wright also was ordered to complete financial counseling and a debtor education course.
The 29-year-old refused to answer specific questions about his finances. Instead, he issued a statement saying a worsening economy, medical issues and problems with his home forced him to file for bankruptcy.
“When my wife and I got married we quickly put together the all-American dream; a nice honeymoon and nice things, a home and a family,” he wrote in an email to The Daily Sentinel. “I didn’t properly take into account the worsening economy and the cost of living going up.”
Wright has come under fire after losing his job as a Fruita police officer when an internal affairs investigation questioned his honesty and integrity.
Though Wright and his attorney, Michael Holmes, said that personnel matter was over being late for work, the investigation revealed a systemic lateness problem that interfered with his work duties.
“(Fruita Police Chief Mark) Angelo had some questions about Jared’s integrity, but the issues were for being late and accounting for his every minute of the morning of a jury trial,” Holmes said. “I don’t see this going any further.”
Holmes said he knew nothing about Wright’s bankruptcy filing, adding that he didn’t represent him in that case.
Wright worked as a police officer since 2007. It’s unknown if Angelo knew about Wright’s bankruptcy, but his office had to know he was having financial problems because his wages were being garnished for a previous debt.
The garnishment was to pay off a $2,000 balance to Credit Union of Colorado to settle an unpaid loan. That unpaid debt was turned over to a collection agency, which filed suit against Wright in Mesa County Court to get the money.
According to his bankruptcy court records, Wright owed as much as $79,000 to 48 different creditors, 11 of which were Grand Junction businesses. Among them were several online purchases, auto and education loans and medical bills.
He also owed money to the Ute Water Conservancy District, Xcel Energy and the city of Grand Junction for unpaid water, energy, trash and sewer bills. The city eventually placed a lien on his home at 2483 Broadway, which was foreclosed on and eventually resold.
Wright bought the home in 2009 for $160,000, according to Mesa County assessor records. In March 2011, the Mesa County Public Trustee’s Office got more than $167,000 for it in a foreclosure sale.
Wright surrendered the property and left it with no equity, according to court documents.
Including that home and other property, Wright listed his assets as being worth more than $192,000, but his liabilities, including his mortgage, were nearly $250,000.
He also told the court his average monthly income was $3,786 and his average monthly expenses were $3,880.
Wright told the bankruptcy court that as a police officer he made less than $66,000 a year, but that included an estimated $1,000 a month in overtime pay. He listed no pay for his wife, Rachael. The couple also has an infant daughter, Evangeline.
His personal assets, which he was not forced to sell to pay off his creditors, included household furniture, several suits, a Luminox watch, a silver necklace, the Mini Cooper and two handguns.
Staff writer Paul Shockley contributed to this report.