Jeyss Abreu, one of the two men vying for mayor Andre Sayegh’s old seat in the 6th Ward, owed thousands of dollars in consumer debt. He was hounded by creditors, forcing him to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2013, according to court records.
Abreu discharged $27,873 in debt through bankruptcy. Some of the debt discharged are listed below:
- $11,787 — Car payment owed to Credit Acceptance of Southfield, MI
- $616 DirecTV
- $264.80 — TD Bank
- $410 — First Premier Bank of Sioux Falls, SD
- $889 – PSEG
- $35 — Si Kids
- $375 — Top Credit Consulting of Passaic City
- $271 — Verizon
- $1,321 – His son and daughter’s medical.
“I wasn’t doing well. It’s not illegal,” said Abreu. “There’s good times and tough times.”
Abreu said he was caught off guard when questioned by a reporter on Tuesday morning.
His filings showed his annual income at the time was $53,885. He had to pay $1,087 in child support, according to court records. There was some real estate debt, he said, but none of it was mentioned in the court documents. His job was “slow” at the time that contributed to the bankruptcy filing, he said.
“I have no problem talking about that,” said Abreu. “The president [Donald Trump] filed for bankruptcy six times.”
Abreu’s opponent in the 6th Ward race, incumbent Al Abdelaziz had a very different take.
“The main objective of a councilperson is to be able to manage the finances of the city. If you can’t manage the finances of your own household than how could the residents of the 6th Ward trust you to manage the finances of the city?” said Abdelaziz. “People go through tough times, but you’ve got to be able to manage your finances.”
Abreu said his bankruptcy will have no bearing on his role as a councilman. He said he will be an “independent” and “strong” councilman for the 6th Ward. He said he will be the “people’s voice” on the nine-person governing body.
The municipal budget is just a larger household budget, said Abdelaziz.
“If he is comparing himself to the president and think’s what the president is doing is right, I beg to differ. The way the president handle things is not beneficial for our city or our residents,” said the councilman.
Abreu, 36, said he has gotten his finance in order. He works as a certified engineer for a motorized commercial garage door installation firm, he said. He has five children. Three are his biological and two are his stepchildren. Abreu did not distinguish between his biological and stepchildren, he said.
“I did it one time and I pray to God I will never do it again,” said Abreu.