A Minnesota state senator who filed for bankruptcy was relieved of $840,00 in debt last year, including $613,000 owed to the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Sen. Sean Nienow, 46, and his wife, Cynthia, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2014 nad the case was officially closed in October, reports the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. The couple claimed in court filings that they owed $930,000 to creditors, but had only $122,000 in assets. The couple had twice mortgaged their home.
The Nienows secured a small-business loan in 2009 to buy National Camp Association Inc., a now-defunct guidance and referral service with the mission of helping families find camps for children, among other things.
They stopped making payments in 2010 and the federal government sued last year. A $748,000 judgment was entered against the Nienows and none of the debt was paid.
Nienow served in the state Senate from 2003 through 2006.
After being defeated for re-election, he won the seat again in 2010, and was re-elected in 2012. His official Senate biography lists his job as a consultant. He makes $31,000 annually as a senator. The Nienows, who have seven children, listed on court documents a $2,600 monthly income.
Nienow has said he intends to try to make payments to his creditors despite the discharge of his debt.
In 2011, National Camp Association's previous owner sued Nienow. Jeffrey Solomon, of New York, alleged in the suit that Nienow did not repay $78,000 in loans for the sale. A judgment was entered against Nienow. Solomon is listed among Nienows debtors in the bankruptcy filing.