The McCreary County Fiscal Court is ready to take action against some delinquent loan holders through the County’s Revolving Loan program.
During last week’s Fiscal Court Meeting Judge Executive Doug Stephens was asked if he had a timeline in mind for action against the outstanding debts, some dating back more than 15 years.
Judge Stephens responded that he did not have a set timeline in mind, noting he hoped the discussion would spur the individuals to begin making payments.
Magistrate Roger Phillips interrupted the Judge, stating he felt the Fiscal Court had given those delinquent loan holders plenty of opportunities to step forward to renegotiate their loans. The Court has, on three occasions, made a public listing of delinquent accounts in an effort to prompt the holders to take action on their own.
The Fiscal Court had also offered an amnesty period, allowing those with outstanding loans to renegotiate the terms with a lower interest rate and schedule payments. Several loans have been renegotiated through the amnesty, and Judge Stephens has stated the majority of those are making payments.
But, at least five outstanding loans have seen no action, and the Fiscal Court has been pushing to see some resolution through legal channels to satisfy the debts.
County Attorney Conley Chaney noted he could not pursue any action without a direct request from the Fiscal Court.
Magistrate Phillips made a motion to allow Chaney to proceed with legal actions, which was approved by the Court.
The Revolving Loan program was established to provide assistance to small local businesses with low-interest loans to help foster economic development.
In recent years the program has come under criticism as collections on several loans seemed to be non-existent and many older loans were written off as bad debt due to an apparent lack of proper documentation.
After being put on hold, the program is expected to be reinstated next month with new, stricter guidelines on how much can be borrowed and at one specific interest rate.
The five loans and the debtors, which were published in a legal notice by the Fiscal Court in last week’s edition of the Voice, were:
Bethel Mower Repair Shop (2005)– Bobby K. Jones Sr. An original loan of $5,000 with an unpaid balance of $3,133.64.
Jack Winchester (2006). An original loan of $5,000 with an unpaid balance of $4,221.47.
M&L Mini Mart (2013) – William Michael Jones. A $40,000 loan with an unpaid balance of $39,470.
Marcum’s Pressure Washing (2006)– David Marcum. A $21,000 loan with an unpaid balance of $20,581.69.
Sugar High Cakes & Confections (2012)– Crescent C. Kidd. A $25,000 loan with an unpaid balance of $22,584.80.
The notice recommends the loan holders to contact the Judge Executive’s Office as soon as possible to arrange payments and to avoid litigation.