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Published: Thursday, 6/27/2013 - Updated: 1 year ago

TOLEDO MAYORAL RACE

McNamara has high credit score, Lopez to release today

BY IGNAZIO MESSINA
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Candidate Joe McNamara Candidate Joe McNamara
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Mayoral hopeful Joe McNamara, a Democratic Toledo councilman, joined two of his opponents in claiming a high credit score and years of on-time bill-paying, according to personal finance documents released Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Lucas County Auditor Anita Lopez on Wednesday declined for a third day to release her related documents, making her the only candidate in the Toledo mayor’s race to withhold them from the public. 

Her campaign spokesman Diane May said Ms. Lopez would release her credit score, her 2011 tax forms, and her full credit report. Ms. Lopez filed an extension for her 2012 tax returns, Ms. May added.

Councilman and mayoral candidate D. Michael Collins and Mayor Mike Bell released their personal financial documents Monday — showing healthy incomes and high credit scores. Mr. Collins, the political independent challenger for mayor, has a credit report that shows no outstanding credit-card debt and an excellent credit score.

RELATED CONTENT: Joe McNamara's 2011 Taxes and Credit Report

Mayor Bell, also a political independent, responded within hours on the same day to a request from The Blade for the same information, which showed a higher credit rating, no past-due credit-card amounts, and no late payments.

Mr. McNamara, a lawyer who collects up to a $27,500 annual council salary, did not release his 2012 tax returns since he too filed an extension. The federal extension application form shows $2,123 as his estimate for total 2012 tax liability.

His 2011 tax returns showed $35,375 in total income. Of that $24,091 was from wages and salary, $13,721 was from ordinary dividends, and $448 was from taxable refunds, credits, or offsets of state and local taxes. Mr. McNamara reported a $1,646 business income loss and $1,500 capital gain loss. He did not itemize charitable donations.

Mr. McNamara said his personal finances are in order.

“I have a great payment history and I have recently paid down three-quarters of my outstanding debt,” he said. “I think my record on council says more on how I would govern. I helped pass two budgets early and unanimously and I also pushed for the balanced budget amendment to the city charter.”

Mr. McNamara’s credit report showed a balance of $9,756 on a CitiCards CBNA credit card. The card had a high balance of $13,639. He also has a Brooks Brothers charge card with a $587 balance and a Home Depot charge card with a $386 amount. The credit report also shows a Key Bank individual line of credit with an $8,752 balance.

That outstanding debt of nearly $20,000 recorded on the credit report is now about $5,000, Mr. McNamara said.

He owns his home and a 2006 Ford Fusion without debt on either asset, according to the records.

Mr. McNamara’s credit score is 747 on the FICO range that goes from 300 to 850. He obtained the score from TransUnion, the same company Mr. Collins and Mr. Bell used to produce a credit report. But their credit scores were under the “VantageScore” model. That is the name of a credit rating product offered by the three major credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. The top VantageScore is 990 as opposed to the top FICO score of 850. Multiplying a VantageScore by 0.86 translates it into an approximate FICO score. Mr. Collins’ credit report shows a 916 score and Mr. Bell’s was 927. Translated to the FICO model, Mr. Collins would have a 787 score and Mr. Bell would have a 797 score.

Mr. McNamara on Wednesday went on the offense against Mr. Bell and called on Ms. Lopez to release her information.

“I think Mike Bell has a good credit score but he is not a good mayor,” he said. “I think he has gone after the middle class in his support of Senate Bill 5; he is out of touch with Toledo’s neighborhoods, and he believes in trickle-down economics instead of creating jobs for the people who live in the city of Toledo.”

As county auditor, Ms. Lopez’s annual pay is $94,246. According to Lucas County Common Pleas Court records, she was paid $7,000 a year in spousal support from 2009 through 2012 plus $15,000 annually in child support from her ex-husband, Roman Arce.

According to court records, Mr. Arce said their May, 2009, divorce agreement made Ms. Lopez responsible for a credit card balance. He said she did not make any payments on the debt from August, 2009, through December, 2011, when the balance was $9,476.

According to a June 8, 2012, court record, Mr. Arce said: “As soon as I paid a total of $21,000 for three years’ worth of spousal support and $60,000 for four years’ worth of child support, [Ms. Lopez] promptly filed for an increase in child support and is now asking this court to more than double my current annual child support obligation.”

Mr. Arce had no comment other than to say the “whole credit card matter is resolved.”

Ms. Lopez did not respond for requests for interviews Tuesday and Wednesday.

According to his 2012 federal tax return, Mr. Collins and his wife — Sandra Drabik, who is retired from the University of Toledo — made a combined $205,244 last year. That includes Ms. Drabik’s retirement benefits and $5,168 from Social Security benefits collected by Mr. Collins. His 2012 income included $42,247 from his pension from nearly three decades as a Toledo police officer, $23,797 from his Toledo City Council salary, and $1,783 from Lourdes University.

Mayor Bell’s 2012 federal tax return showed $108,481 in salary; $31 from taxable interest; $541 from taxable refunds, credits, or offsets of state and local income taxes, and $69,395 from pensions and annuities.

Contact Ignazio Messina at: imessina@theblade.com or 419-724-6171 or on Twitter @IgnazioMessina.


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