Coleman: Bankruptcy won't affect city work

February 18, 2009

Kristin Mamrack -


Ward 3 Councilman Gene Coleman, who has qualified to seek re-election, declared personal bankruptcy last month. 


Coleman and four others, involved in Pharmacy Management Group LLC, had borrowed money to establish a string of pharmacies in North Mississippi, but the businesses were not established. 


In December, The Bank of Vernon (Ala.) filed suit against Coleman and his associates for repayment. 


Earlier, several drug wholesalers had filed suit to recoup payment. 


Coleman, through attorney R. Gawyn Mitchell, of Columbus, on Jan. 9 filed a voluntary petition for Chapter 7 bankruptcy; court records show his debts are “business debts.” 


“We made some poor business mistakes,” Coleman said this morning. “The economy didn’t help and it has cost me both professionally and personally. I don’t think it has affected my council work, and I’ll continue to serve the people of Columbus in the best manner I can.” 


According to information provided by the U.S. District Courts, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case does not involve the filing of a plan of repayment. 


The debtor’s non-exempt assets are sold and proceeds are used to pay creditors; the Bankruptcy Code will allow the debtor to keep certain exempt property, but the debtor’s remaining assets are liquidated. 


A meeting of Coleman’s creditors is scheduled for March 4. 


During the creditors’ meeting, the debtor is placed under oath and answers questions about his or her financial affairs and property. 


A Chapter 7 discharge releases individual debtors from personal liability for most debts and prevents creditors owed those debts from taking any collection actions against the debtors.