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Fiscal Court preparing to go after unpaid loans

Following through on a directive from the Fiscal Court, McCreary County Judge Executive Doug Stephens published a legal ad last week, identifying six local businesses who are behind on their payments for loans obtained through the County.

The McCreary County Fiscal Court is preparing to take action against the businesses that are delinquent on more than $100,000 in unpaid loans through the County’s Smart Loan program.

The legal notice states that the Fiscal Court is preparing to take legal action against those businesses to pursue collection of the accounts.

Those businesses are:

Bethel Mower Repair Shop, which took out a $5,000 loan in 2005, and owes a balance of $3,133.64.

Jack Winchester, who took out a $5,000 loan in 2006, and owes a balance of $4,221.47.

M&L Mini Mart, with a $40,000 loan in 2013 still owes a balance of $39,470.

Marcum’s Pressure Washing: a 2006 loan for $21,000 with an unpaid of balance of $20,581.69.

Strunk’s Engines, a $25,000 loan taken out in 2012 with a balance of $21,801.

Sugar High Cakes, with an original loan of $25,000 in 2012, with an outstanding balance of $22,584.80.

The revolving loan program is designed to provide low-interest loans to local entrepreneurs in an effort to promote economic growth.

The program has come under fire in recent years as more and more loans have become delinquent and very little efforts to collect or enforce the terms of the loans have been made.

Last year Judge Stephens provided the delinquent businesses an offer of amnesty in an attempt to begin collection process.

The amnesty allowed loan holders an opportunity to revisit the terms of the loans to negotiate refinancing with lower interest rates to spur collections.

According to Judge Stephens 11 businesses or loan holders have contacted his office since the amnesty was offered to either settle their outstanding debts, or renegotiate the terms of the agreement with the Fiscal Court.

Ten other loans, dating back as far as 2002, have been declared “unrecoverable” since the companies have declared bankruptcy.

Those loans amount to more than $350,000.

The most recent of the “unrecoverable” loans dates to 2009, before changes were made to the program to include more enforceable language in the agreements. Prior loans apparently failed to require collateral or personal guarantees, thus making collection nearly impossible to accomplish.

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