Former Pine Bluff Police Chief Brenda Davis-Jones, who was fired by Mayor Debe Hollingsworth on Jan. 1, has filed for bankruptcy.
The Chapter 13 filing in the Eastern District of Arkansas lists Davis-Jones as Brenda Maxine Jones, and was filed Feb. 12 by attorney April N. Kresten of the Dickerson Law Firm in Pine Bluff. Citing attorney-client privilege, Kresten declined to comment on the filing.
The bankruptcy form does not list a current phone number for Davis-Jones and her attorney was not permitted to provide any information. Her city-owned cell phone was picked up at the same time that Davis-Jones’ city issued vehicle was taken by police after she was fired.
Davis-Jones listed assets of $321,278, including a five-bedroom, three bath house in Macon, Ga., with a value of $199,000 and a vacant lot in Forsty, Ga., valued at $64,500, and liabilities of $251,877.91, including $190,879 in secured debts.
The house, which the bankruptcy form says “Davis-Jones is moving back to,” has a mortgage valued at $124,342 while there is a second mortgage on the vacant lot listed at $45,850.
Davis-Jones listed the value of her personal property as $57,778, including $10,200 in household goods such as living room and dining room furniture valued at $1,000 each, bedroom furniture valued at $4,000, a television valued at $1,000, cooking utensils /pots and pans valued at $800, and a DVD and computer each valued at $300.
Other personal property listed was $7,000 for apparel, $500 for jewelry, and three vehicles, a 2006 Lexus, a 2004 Lexus and a 1996 Lexus with a combined value of $30,025, and $10,000 in retirement benefits from the city of Pine Bluff.
She also showed a balance of $53 in a checking account at Simmons First National Bank.
The court filing said Davis-Jones was filing suit against the city of Pine Bluff for “wrongful termination” and the value of the claim “will be updated once suit is closer to settlement.”
Creditors holding secured claims were Pnc Mortgage of Dayton, Ohio, on the house in Macon, Robins Federal Credit on the vacant lot in Georgia and two claims for Lexus Financial in Alpharetta, Ga., on the 2006 and 2004 Lexus automobiles.
Unsecured claims were listed at $54,998.91, which included six credit cards, a charge account, two educational loans, and what is listed as a lawsuit by Atlantic Credit and Finance of Macon, Ga.
The bankruptcy form also shows a $6,000 debt to the Internal Revenue Service for 2010 taxes.
According to an income statement included in the bankruptcy form, Davis-Jones was paid $7,000 per month until the end of December.
She started receiving unemployment of $1,954.34 per month Jan. 25, and showed monthly expenses of $1,196, which included two cable bills, one in Pine Bluff, the other in Georgia, as well as other utilities, food, medical and dental expenses and entertainment.
The form also indicated that Davis-Jones “has a potential employment opportunity that she is sure she will be offered in the very near future.”
No other information was listed about that “employment opportunity.”
According to public.findlaw.com, Chapter 13 bankruptcy rules state that creditors may no longer pursue collection efforts when a debtor files for bankruptcy. As soon as the appropriate paperwork is filed and the fee paid, an automatic stay takes effect prohibiting further collection activities.
To qualify for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, a debtor must repay all secured creditors and priority debtors in full, and must repay a part of the amount owed to unsecured creditors. Secured debt is debt backed by collateral such as a vehicle or real estate, and priority debtors include child support and back taxes. Unsecured debt includes credit card bills.
A trustee is appointed by the bankruptcy court to communicate with creditors and set up a creditors meeting, and a repayment plan is set up for the filer which the trustee will disburse to the creditors each month.