LAYTON -- Mayor Steve Curtis has filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy, calling himself a victim of the economy after being without full-time work for a year and having to depend on credit cards to maintain his home.
Curtis filed on March 17, according to David Sime, clerk of the United States Bankruptcy Court in Salt Lake City.
Court records show Curtis listed assets totaling $263,107.71, with liabilities of $386,913.23.
The Curtis bankruptcy does not include any distribution plan for assets to be paid out, Sime said. "There are no assets to be paid out," he said.
With the Chapter 7 filing, Sime said, "not every bill gets wiped out" for Curtis, "but the vast majority do."
"I have been a casualty of the economy," said the 55-year-old Curtis. He has been without a full-time job off-and-on since retiring from Qwest Communications after 29 years in August 2006.
He moved briefly to another company in order to spend more time with family and take a job with less-demanding hours, but left that company.
Several months later he found work with First National Bank in online banking, he said. But in June 2009 his position was eliminated as part of a company downsizing.
"Bills had to be paid. I have four children. I needed to take care of them," Curtis said. "I'm no different than hundreds, or thousands, of people across the country who have lost their jobs and are scrambling to make ends meet."
Filing bankruptcy was a last resort, said Curtis, who remains hopeful his next full-time job is "just around the corner."
The bankruptcy documents list the value of Curtis's home at $220,000, with a lien of $197,000 and a second lien of $49,899.03.
Curtis lists a gross monthly wage of $2,476.92. His wife lists a gross monthly wage of $2,235.10.
As mayor, considered a part-time job, Curtis receives from Layton a yearly salary of $21,800, plus travel and vehicle allowance.
Curtis has been mayor since 2006, winning re-election in November 2009 after spending $20,000 to fend off challenger Bob Stevenson.
The money he spent in his run for mayor was not his own, Curtis said. "It came from contributions," he said of the campaign funds he received from friends and family.
Leaning on credit cards was something he should not have done, Curtis said. But he wants to assure the public he knows how to budget, and was current on his bills before legal counsel recommended he file for bankruptcy.
"I don't believe in stiffing anyone, and have worked out (payment) agreements with certain organizations," Curtis said.
Creditors listed in the court documents holding nonpriority claims against Curtis include Bank of America, $25,000; Care Credit, a dental credit line, $10,076.22; First National Bank of Layton, a credit card account totaling $10,077.47; Union Plus Credit Card, $14,106.36 and Goldenwest Credit Union, a Visa credit card account totaling $5,300.
Within 180 days of filing bankruptcy, the Curtises received and completed a briefing from a credit counseling agency approved by the United States trustee or bankruptcy administrator, court records show.