Councilman Michael Jackson’s paycheck is being garnished for defaulting on a $140,000 business loan.
Jackson’s lender, the Paterson Restoration Corporation (PRC), obtained a court order in late December to collect on the defaulted loan.
10-percent of his gross weekly wage has to be withheld to pay back the loan. Jackson earns $41,213 as a councilman, according to payroll records.
Jackson declined to comment on Friday.
The Paterson Restoration Corporation gave him the loan $140,000 loan at 2.25-percent interest in 2009 to renovate his restaurant, Jacksonville, on Grand Street.
Jackson has explained in the past that the Great Recession battered his business causing him to default on the loan. At times, he has blamed the Paterson Restoration Corporation, an agency created by the municipal government in 1977 with $11.1 million in federal funds to give out loans to small businesses, by stating he was promised funds in matter of weeks, but took months before he could get his hands on the dollars.
Jamie Dykes, chairman of the Paterson Restoration Corporation, has been the subject of much of Jackson’s ire.
Jackson has attacked him at public forums.
Dykes declined to comment on Jackson’s pay garnishment on Friday.
The Paterson Restoration Corporation secured a judgment against Jackson on Jul. 21, 2017. It filed defective paperwork in court to move with pay garnishment. In some instances, the paperwork did not contain signatures. It finally filed correct paperwork in late last year. A judge issued a order for the wage garnishment on Dec. 27, 2018, according to court records.
The default rate at the Paterson Restoration Corporation has spiked over the past five years, said Dykes. He said the agency has been aggressively going after deadbeat borrowers.
Dykes said at present the Paterson Restoration Corporation has three pay garnishments to collect on defaulted loans. It also hired a debt collection firm, Williams Alexander & Associates of Wayne, to go after people who have defaulted on loans.
The default has haunted Jackson over the years. His political opponents have repeatedly attacked him for defaulting on the loan.
Jackson lost his bid for an at-large City Council seat in 2014 partly due to news of the default. In 2015, Jackson preemptively addressed his business woes at a debate before his opponents could attack him on television.
Jackson’s move worked. Voters elected him to represent the 1st Ward in a special election in 2015. He won re-election in 2016.
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