House of GOP auditor candidate Kemper up for foreclosure auction after primary

05/04/2011 12:53 PM

The south Fayette County home that Republican state auditor candidate John Kemper purchased in 2002 for nearly $1.5 million is slated to go up for a foreclosure auction six days after the primary election, according to the Fayette County Master Commissioner’s office.

The auction is the latest action related to Kemper’s personal bankruptcy problems. It is slated for May 23, according to the master commissioner’s site.

Kemper is running in the Republican primary for state auditor against state Rep. Addia Wuchner of Florence. The state auditor oversees and office of more than 110 people who dig through finances and operations of state and county agencies.

Kemper has made no secret of his financial problems, which include filing for personal bankruptcy protection through Chapter 11. And he said he put up personal assets to keep afloat his development business after a 2005 land deal that stalled.

“By the time we came online, the builders couldn’t get financing because the economy tanked,” Kemper said. “We were stuck with 18 lots.”

He said he put up for sale his home and land, which he purchased for $1.469 million in 2002. It is now appraised for $850,000, according to the master commissioner’s site.

Kemper had a certain period of time to sell the house and surrounding 18 acres in order to pay off his debt. But the home didn’t sell in that time, prompting the mortgage company, Citimortgage, to take it to auction.

Kemper said he hopes voters understand that he was among many developers and builders to be affected by the burst in the housing bubble in 2008.

“Probably had this happened prior to the housing meltdown, people would be less sympathetic,” he said.

He has made the case that his personal bankruptcy problems motivates him to try to prevent the state from getting into a similar problem. Here’s what he told Pure Politics earlier this spring:

Kemper also is listed as secretary for a family-owned education company that also declared bankruptcy.

But he has said his financial problems gives him additional insight.

“I would much rather be a risk-taker than get a guaranteed check from the government,” he said, last week, referring to Wuchner who is a state representative.

But Kemper is running for a state office that pays a salary of more than $110,000 a year in taxpayer funds.

- Ryan Alessi


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