Monday, April 16, 2012

In Case You Missed It: Agency trying to Recoup $1.6M from Tom Gear

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We wanted to pass along a truly chilling article in Sunday's Daily Press regarding ex-delegate and current City Council candidate Tom Gear.


The article sheds light on the shady and unfortunate financial mismanagement of Gear as a failed big businessman.


One wonders if Gear is running for council simply to pay off the nearly $2,000,000 he owes in debt to lending agencies...


Agency trying to recoup $1.6M from Tom Gear

Loan was for Gear's failed printing business


"HAMPTON - A $1.6 million judgment has been filed in Hampton Circuit Court against former state delegate and current Hampton City Council candidate Tom Gear.


Gear, of Mohawk Street, must provide a listing of his assets to the court in late May. He is being ordered to pay an outstanding balance of $1,574,712, $87,812 in attorney's fees and $912 in interest, according to court records.


The judgment comes after Gear failed to pay down the debt of a printing press his company Gear-Up Printing, purchased for $650,000 in 1997. The lending agency, Orix Financial Services, is now seeking to recoup the outstanding balance, plus compounding interest...


Orix Financial Services repossessed the press around 2003 and eventually sued Gear's company, also known as Gear Advertising, for the loan's outstanding balance. The judgment comes with an annual 24 percent interest rate.


"If they continue to pursue the collection, then I'll talk to my lawyer about my options," Gear said.


Gear's financial woes have repeatedly come up during his career in public office.


In 1992, he filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on a string of yogurt shops called For Yogurt's Sake.


In 2005, Gear's opponent in a House of Delegates election, then-Hampton Councilman Randy Gilliland, often cited Gear's tax history, giving him the moniker "the deadbeat delegate."


Gear won the 91st House District seat by almost a 2-1 margin over Gilliland.


Since 1999, Gear has made more than two dozen late tax payments to the city. He has cited those delinquencies to the pressure of juggling numerous small businesses at once.


Gear deflected criticism of his personal finances, saying voters should look at his voting record as a no-new-tax Republican when they head to the polls on May 1..."


Copyright 2012 Daily Press. Written by Robert Brauchle. Published on April 15, 2012.



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