City Council Meets to Discuss Loan Loss of $157,000

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By Crandall Sims

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) --"Sometimes these situations can become dicey, they can seem personal," says Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin

Benjamin is referring to a loan that now has the city at a loss of about $157,000.

City Council met Wednesday to discuss the matter that involves councilwoman, Tameika Isaac-Devine.

Here's the back story, in September of 2004 a $200,000 loan was taken out by "Carolina Procurement Institute," through the city's Commercial Revolving Loan Fund.

Tameika Isaac-Devine was the closing attorney.

The stipulations of the loan required a second mortgage. But, according to paperwork, the second mortgage was never signed.

Because of that, we're told, the loan is considered "unsecured" debt after the borrowers filed bankruptcy.

"I don't want any guessing, I don't want any assumptions," says Mayor Benjamin

We do know, according to documents, in 2010 attorneys for the City of Columbia filed a complaint against the borrower.

In November of 2010, the court granted the city a judgement of $184,345.49 plus costs, fees and interest.

However, the bankruptcy court treated the judgement as a general unsecured claim of $26, 424.20, a difference of just over $157,000.

"We did contact councilwoman Isaac-Devine's law firm, but we were told she is out of town.

Mayor Benjamin says they have asked staff to go back and put together a timeline in this case to make sure they have all the facts before moving forward.

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