Augusta mayoral candidate Blocker-Adams says she wasn't hiding debts

Tuesday, May 13, 2014 2:44 PM
Last updated Wednesday, May 14, 2014 1:24 PM
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Augusta mayoral candidate Helen Blocker-Adams blamed a lack of correspondence from three creditors for about $70,000 in unpaid debts, she told The Augusta Chronicle on Tuesday.

Helen Blocker-Adams says a lack of correspondence regarding some $70,000 in debt from three creditors since 2005 or 2006 led her to believe the obligations were satisfied.  FILE/STAFF
FILE/STAFF
Helen Blocker-Adams says a lack of correspondence regarding some $70,000 in debt from three creditors since 2005 or 2006 led her to believe the obligations were satisfied.

Blocker-Adams attributed the debts, associated with a foreclosure on her former North Augusta home, a repossessed car and a bank loan she took out with her ex-husband, who recently died, to a darker period of her life in the mid-1990s. She said she had a miscarriage, got divorced and was saddled with a “balloon” mortgage that tripled her payment within three years.

“Real hardship and challenges happened to me in a very short period of time, and it just sort of spiraled from there,” Blocker-Adams said.

Allen LaFavor, who sold his mother’s home to Blocker-Adams, then foreclosed on her after she failed to make payments, told a different story. LaFavor said he hoped Blocker-Adams had won election the first time she ran for mayor, in 2005, so he could have garnished her wages.

“She’d pay next month; that was always the story,” LaFavor said. “She never did dispute the fact that she owed it; she just didn’t pay it.”

The court determined that after the foreclosure, Blocker-Adams owed LaFavor and his two siblings about $13,000, of which she has paid less than $1,000, he said. Liens don’t work because Blocker-Adams owns no property and reports insufficient income to attach a lien or garnishment to, he said.

Blocker-Adams, who campaigns on a pro-business platform, said she had contacted two of the three creditors Monday after learning that three Aiken County court judgments from 1997, 2001 and 2002 seeking the money had been distributed to the news media.

“After making payments between 1997 and 2005, it was my understanding these debts were satisfied,” Blocker-Adams said. “There hasn’t been any communication from these creditors since 2005 or 2006.”

LaFavor said he tried to reach Blocker-Adams last week. Richmond County court records show that a collection agency for Ford Motor Co. attempted to place a lien on her property last September for $11,210 but found nothing to attach it to.

According to Blocker-Adams, two of the creditors told her Monday she had outstanding balances, “but they needed to research it further to see what that amount was …”

“The creditors are having to really dig as they are not or have not been pursuing this as an unpaid debt,” she said.

Blocker-Adams said she’ll pay whatever she owes.

Aiken County court records show little action on the judgments since 2004, although debt collectors don’t always inform the courts whether debtors meet their obligations.

In a 2001 response to Security Federal Bank, Blocker-Adams said she had had “chronic cash flow problems for the past five years” and was unable to meet the bank’s payment plan of $673.83 a month.

Blocker-Adams said she wasn’t trying, as a public speaker, radio host and candidate for elective office in 2005, 2006 and now, to hide from them.

“If there was all of these obligations, I’m here and I’m one of the most visible people in Augusta,” she said. “There’s a lot of people who experience what I experienced on a daily basis, but I’m still standing. … I’ve experienced what 90 percent of people have; mine is just exposed now.”

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triscuit
2991
Points
triscuit 05/13/14 - 10:30 pm
9
1
Mason arrested for domestic

Mason arrested for domestic violence. Myles involved in sexual discrimination charges against Larke and also some questionable teaching techniques. Cummings operating a nightclub without proper licensing. Hardie appears squeaky clean despite a terrible voting record. I'd bet his campaign is behind his ths last minute discovery but I won't. Just wondering why Mr. LaFavor just surfaced. Not giving her a total pass but with her gaining momentum, it sure is strange.

AutumnLeaves
7011
Points
AutumnLeaves 05/13/14 - 10:44 pm
6
6
This is predictable. The more

This is predictable. The more momentum someone has to win in an election around here the deeper the competition digs down and into the past, as close to the election as possible trying to find mud to sling just at the point that there is not enough time to respond to it decisively. When this happens, I'm inclined to vote for the target, based on what I've seen happen around here in the past few decades. The last persons I would vote for are the people slinging the mud.

TrulyWorried
13304
Points
TrulyWorried 05/13/14 - 11:05 pm
9
1
Mayoral candidates

I believe we are up the creek without a paddle.

mllange
156
Points
mllange 05/13/14 - 11:34 pm
1
12
Debt!! Really!! The whole

Debt!! Really!! The whole country is in debt... So if this is the best dirt you have on Helen.. Then she has my vote!

dichotomy
32018
Points
dichotomy 05/13/14 - 11:55 pm
14
0
The quality of the people we

The quality of the people we have that want to hold public office in August/Richmond County is just the gift that keeps on giving.....PAAAAthetic. If it wasn't so pitiful it would be funny. This mayoral election is officially another laughing stock of the state joke.

HBA is sorely mistaken. Her situation would probably never happen to the vast majority of us. You have to be pretty dumb in most cases to get yourself in that kind of financial trouble and to handle it like she has. I certainly do not want her having ANY voice in guiding my tax money. Scratch HBA off of the list.

So....what are we down to now.....the wife beater who takes the gifts from the contractors or the guy who everyone says is backed by the money men downtown and who was pretty much a zero in the state legislature. What a choice Augusta. There is no hope for this place. But hey, the mayor will be black and that's all that really counts in Augusta isn't it. THAT is the single qualification. Sort of like the school superintendent. How's that working out for you? Pretty much at the bottom of the list huh. Well, think about that.

Hey all you folks who were suing because you thought the change of election date would suppress the vote. If we have a low voter turn out it WILL NOT be because of the date change. It will be because the candidates ARE SO BAD that nobody any longer GIVES A CRAP. In fact, it's probably going to be the white folks who are so disgusted they won't bother to go vote. ALL of the candidates are so bad I really don't care who gets elected mayor. When you are on the Titanic and it's sinking you don't really care who's wearing the captain's hat. The only thing that would make this crew of misfits, dipsticks, and clowns any better would be if Marion Williams was running for mayor. Then this whole election would be eligible for it's own TV reality show.

445
Points
Lakeside95 05/14/14 - 01:00 am
7
7
Questionable Motives

I read the judgement paperwork as well as HBAs explanation. Immediately I was suspicious of this issue and especially the timing.
HBA has been in the public eye for quite sometime. These debts were incurred in the mid-to-late 1990's. HBA has run for political office, had a radio program, worked with GRU with grants on issues such as obesity and as a Economic Development Omsbudsman.
As anyone that has ever had a debt that went to a collection department knows; very rarely does a day go buy without a phone call. After making payments to these corporations for quite awhile, when the company no longer bills you and/or calls - many would infer that debt was satisfied. When HBA contacted the two companies to get the current status of these debts - both companies told HBA that her account had not been active in some time and that while yes she did have debt- the company had not persued the account. Neither of the companies could even give her an amount that is remaining. HBA has requested a copy of the paperwork from both companies in order to begin satisfying this debt.
Hindsight is 20/20. Also, these debts are almost 20 years old. And today HBA is almost 20 years older with much more life experience than she had at that time. While some have remarked that a miscarriage and subsequent divorce are not anything that should effect your finances. That person is living in la-la land. Divorce, separation and a miscarriage are all traumatic events.
The abrupt change in financial stability, coupled with stress, is a life changing time. HBA has never disputed the amounts of the debt nor did she use the court to attempt to lessen the financial burden. As noted in a judgement, the Judge asked her several times did she understand that she was agreeing to the debt as presented by the creditor. She agreed. The Judge continued by stating for the record that HBA was "very pleasant" and allowed her to represent herself.
Most of you are wondering why HBA didn't immediately file for bankruptcy - it's simple. HBA was going to honor her debts.
That leads back to today (Tuesday). HBA could have told everyone that these debts have been paid. That she would get the paperwork in order and then get back to the media when she had the proof. That might even had worked this close to the Election.
HBA would not do that. Rather than hiding, HBA made certain that her response from the 1st reporter to call was sent early Tuesday. HBA wanted to share this and to be certain that the correct information was distributed to all of Augusta.
Augusta is looking for a new leader. Augusta needs a Mayor who understands that no matter how ugly a situation is, hiding and avoiding are not the values that Augusta needs.

geecheeriverman
2008
Points
geecheeriverman 05/14/14 - 06:06 am
7
0
Augusta/Richmond County Government

The A/RC government has been going to the dogs for a long time, and regardless of who wins this election, the black and white folk will be in big trouble. This is what the low information voters want. Remember all the fuss about the Bell Curve some years ago? Maybe it is time for a re-visit. Until the education system is fixed, this is all we will get. What a sad day in America.

iaaffg
1987
Points
iaaffg 05/14/14 - 06:22 am
6
0
how predictable: a

how predictable: a politician pointing the finger at someone else for their personal foibles. of course it's the CREDITORS fault she owes money, of course it's SOMEONE else's fault she wasn't aware she owed this money, of course it's always SOMEONE else's fault in the life of a politician if anything is amiss or out of order in their life. NEVER is it the politician's fault. This is horse hockey, pure and simple, politico-speak, and i wouldn't elect this woman to any type of position calling for integrity, accountability or responsibility. her claim of 'i didn't know' is baloney. if you owe 70,000 bucks to anyone or any institution, you know it. if this isn't the modus operandi of a scammer, i don't know what is. more pee on the citizen's legs, and she's calling it rain.

Graymare
2993
Points
Graymare 05/14/14 - 07:42 am
3
0
Why aren't my comments

Why aren't my comments allowed?

AFjoe
2347
Points
AFjoe 05/14/14 - 07:42 am
2
1
Surprise!

An October surprise in May...welcome to politics.

Austin Rhodes
2852
Points
Austin Rhodes 05/14/14 - 07:50 am
3
7
My voice and mtber

You guys are making stuff up. The envelope arrived at my office MONDAY...I opened it in the middle of my MONDAY show (4pm). I read its contents (without names) on the air...commenting on the timing of its arrival, and I said I would vet the information before Tuesday's show.

Harley Drew picked up the packet of information I left in the studio Tuesday morning and read it aloud on the air without my knowledge. (I should not have left it in the studio...he should not have read it on the air without talking to me about it...at the time I did not know where it came from, nor the validity of the claims...just the highly suspicious timing of the release)

As far as "covering" for Helen...that is preposterous. And yes...I received a similar damning "envelope" of information (a box, actually) full of incriminating info on Charles Walker...and I took it straight to the FBI. I waited until they were done before I discussed it on the air. That seemed to work out pretty well.

You anonymous posters need to get your facts straight.

obkad
222
Points
obkad 05/14/14 - 07:49 am
0
8
opps

Everyone one knows it was just a matter of time when "dirt" would be dug up on Helen. A minor slip of leaving a piece of paper on a desk begs to ask the question, mistake or plant. Makes one wonder who works for who. The factions new prior to this incident that the courts would rule in favor of the city so the dirty deeds start. Where in this country have we seen this before...hum,, I never inhaled, never had sex with that woman, I don't know what FBI files you are talking about, all these seem to not matter. This shouldn't either. Hardy,Billy and Austin, you have done your jobs.. Now let Augusta do its job by electing Helen- Blocker-Adams as Mayor..

kiwiinamerica
934
Points
kiwiinamerica 05/14/14 - 08:18 am
0
0
She's a dead beat
Unpublished

Period.

Oh.........and she's running for mayor.

Thanks for the story. That's all I need to know. Can't manage her own finances but wants to mange yours.

No sale.

belle
303
Points
belle 05/14/14 - 08:42 am
0
0
don't vote for stupid
Unpublished

I am not discussing or implying anything about the candidates based on their platform. I would simply like to point out that anyone running for public office knows their credit will be delved into by the media and their opponents. You would have to be stupid to run for office without pulling up your own credit report and resolving any issues before announcing your candidacy. Do we want to elect stupid?

b1
139
Points
b1 05/14/14 - 09:01 am
3
0
accountability

If you owe money...YOU OWE MONEY! it should not be the creditor's responsibility. Pay your damn bills!

Sean Moores
191
Points
Sean Moores 05/14/14 - 09:04 am
4
0
Comment problems

We are experiencing technical difficulties with our online comments again today. I've put in a ticket to get it fixed, but I haven’t heard anything back yet. I hope to have this fixed soon.

Some of our commenters are getting emails saying their comments are being held for moderation. I’m releasing them as often as possible, but I can’t watch it constantly, especially after hours. I know it’s frustrating. The comments are getting posted; it is just taking a little while.

I apologize for the inconvenience.

misskittysreview
4
Points
misskittysreview 05/14/14 - 09:39 am
2
2
Well, I haven't been

Well, I haven't been satisfied with any of the candidates for mayor!! My support has been with HBA. I'm hesitant right now. I watched the Q & A of the candidates with Brad Means and I have to say Myles and her opponent at the other end of the table (whose name escapes me due to the lack of being impressed by anything he had to say) were not as articulate in expressing their vision for Augusta. They and one of the other male candidates said they would definitely take advantage of the car and gas card that is part of the perks package for Augusta's mayor!! Mason and HBA kind of hem-hawed around the issue and gave partial answers. Davis was the ONLY one to say he "enjoy(s) driving (his) Ford truck" and said he doesn't need the gas card. This only is such a disappointment. I understand financial difficulties...that's my middle name. And if one of her opponents had a hand in leaking the info, I wouldn't vote for them. I'd figure that person has something to hide themselves and trying to deflect attention elsewhere!! I'm not thrilled about Davis due to his lackluster record but he's the only other candidate to consider. I have never been happy with Mason's "work" on the commission. Myles and "what's his name"....?? Nah!! Nuff said on them. I hope to decide on the mayoral race soon. I need to get my absentee ballot mailed very soon!!

have a woman at the helm, I have to seriously reconsider my choice. I'll never vote for Mason in a million years. And Myles and "what's his name" will never get any vote of mine!! So, that leaves HBA and M
partial answers

yesiwill
72
Points
yesiwill 05/14/14 - 10:06 am
6
0
It's not the debt

It's about taking responsibility for your life and not blaming other. NO 90% of us do not get into this kind of trouble. Stop blaming others. That's why you are not worthy of being the Mayor of Augusta.

itsanotherday1
41940
Points
itsanotherday1 05/14/14 - 10:14 am
3
3
Good points by both Lakeside

Good points by both Lakeside and Dichotomy. It appears this election comes down to the better of the lessers, and HBA may still be that person in spite of her financial foibles of 20 years ago.

Wife beater, ineffective puppet, debtor; take your pick. If I had a vote, I would vote for HBA, if for nothing else, to poke the October Surprise operators in the eye.

Also, considering the mayor is more of a ceremonial position than a management one; her enthusiasm and kum-bay-ya persona may be more suited for the position than the other two for selling the city.

prov227
3138
Points
prov227 05/14/14 - 10:25 am
2
0
Careful with history ...

"Thomas Jefferson had debts and never paid off even after death......Was he a bad president?" ... Jefferson assumed a very large debt of a relative through an inheritance. Also, U.S. Presidents and Secretary of State weren't paid very well in his time period and Jefferson had to sacrifice his business (plantation) to his time in Washington, not even counting his time in Virginia government before the Revolution. During the Revolution, he like many others, put his life and property at risk. Great Britain's merchants' plan was to keep the colonists in debt up to their agricultural eyeballs. At least, according to the article in the link, Jefferson didn't run from his creditors, but developed a plan to pay off his debts.

I'm sorry, but this analogy doesn't come close to candidate HB's predicament. It appears she has been running from her creditors and ignoring her debts. I agree with the premise that if you can't manage your personal debts; why should the electorate encourage you to manage a truly massive financial program, as A-RC. These facts should dampen her candidacy.

Dixieman
14360
Points
Dixieman 05/14/14 - 11:02 am
5
0
Well it has this effect:

Now all her creditors will vote for her so that she will have a salary they can garnish!

corgimom
31086
Points
corgimom 05/14/14 - 11:16 am
3
1
HBA KNEW those debts were

HBA KNEW those debts were still unpaid.

I always knew when I had debts, I always knew when they got paid off, and I always received some sort of paperwork saying it was paid- a statement, a receipt, a deed, a car title, whatever.

She is a big fat liar if she says that she thought they had been paid, she was just hoping that the debts had been declared uncollectable and forgotten about.

We aren't talking small sums of money, like a few hundred here, a few hundred there; we are talking thousands of dollars.

And I would never, ever ignore a debt. No matter how broke I was, I'd still pay on it, even if it was only $10 or $20 per month.

One time I had to borrow money from my parents for a car repair. I made a payment every time I got paid. Sometimes it was for only $3, $4, or $5, but I made payments. Because I had agreed to pay the money back.

Not paying a debt is just the same as stealing, and not paying a court judgment is contempt of court, because she was under court order to pay the money.

As for this statement- "Augusta needs a Mayor who understands that no matter how ugly a situation is, hiding and avoiding are not the values that Augusta needs."- yes, I couldn't agree more, since HBA has been hiding and avoiding these debts for nearly 20 years.

Truth Matters
6596
Points
Truth Matters 05/14/14 - 01:23 pm
2
3
@austin...11:55 am.."Where do

@austin...11:55 am.."Where do you people get off just LYING like that?"

Sorry to say, as you must now know, that is just how some of these people roll around here. They repeat a lie over and over again until they and others who won't do their own research believe the lie and begin repeating it. Note that when the lie is told they get multiple thumbs up, and the correct information gets multiple thumbs down. Some folks wouldn't recognize the truth if it bit them on the [filtered word] (toe...wink, wink).

SRD
441
Points
SRD 05/14/14 - 01:32 pm
1
1
Make it count

Those who can vote in this election need to make it count and vote on logic verses emotions. The facts are the facts. HBA can't manage money and has some other issues with complaints regarding how she handles her business from folks who feel like that have been scammed. Lori Myles seems , uh well concerned about the state of the city. Davis is a tas and spend smooth talking, attractive, sly fox in my opinion. And the other candidate who blah, blah, blah, his answer at the forum is a funny kind of guy. Mason isn't a wife beater "that is a lie", and he seems the only person who knows whats going on. Let's get real folks, the only real credible choices are Mason or Davis. I vote no to SPLOST and no to more taxes so I have to go with Mason.

Riverman1
82181
Points
Riverman1 05/14/14 - 02:39 pm
4
0
Neil Boortz explained the

Neil Boortz explained the bankruptcy concept once. Dixieman can correct me if I'm wrong. The court may rule you don't have to pay, but the debt does not go away. You have a moral right to pay the money back when things are better. The creditor has a right to keep asking you for the money. That's what got me about Ron Cross. He hasn't done a bad job as Commission Chairman and I've complimented him more than once, but once he became wealthy after his bankruptcy he should have paid back those he owed. He stands to make hundreds of thousands on a land deal soon on that road off Evans to Lock Rd. He lives in a gated community. If Lee Benedict is right, one of his creditors is a church. Cross and Blocker-Adams, with her unpaid debts, should do the right thing and pay those they owe, because they most certainly still owe them.

edcushman
7930
Points
edcushman 05/14/14 - 02:55 pm
3
1
"They repeat a lie over and
Unpublished

"They repeat a lie over and over again until they and others who won't do their own research believe the lie and begin repeating it."
TM, very good description of the of lying piece of garbage in the WH and the democrats.

Riverman1
82181
Points
Riverman1 05/14/14 - 03:58 pm
4
0
Told Y'all

I told y'all HBA is a flake. The Chronicle needs to withdraw their endorsement. There's no getting around her constant refusal to pay her bills.

karlsruhe13
23
Points
karlsruhe13 05/14/14 - 05:17 pm
0
0
And she is looking for the Hispanic vote!
Unpublished

Legal Hispanic residents of Augusta, this lady will do and say anything in order to become the next mayor of the Garden City. Open up your eyes and re-evaluate your candidates. That means a Republican candidate could be your best choice since the Democrats are all limping from the same leg.

seenitB4
85283
Points
seenitB4 05/14/14 - 05:23 pm
2
0
When Austin says this..

"You anonymous posters need to get your facts straight."

Most of us do have them straight....we told ya right from the start...the race will be between Hardie & Mason..I & many others have NEVER called Mason a w/beater either.

rmwhitley
5542
Points
rmwhitley 05/14/14 - 06:38 pm
0
0
Surprise,
Unpublished

surprise, surprise!

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