Empty Pockets 

Mayor Blames Home's Foreclosure Listing on Legal Fees

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MAYOR SAM ADAMS' name appeared Tuesday morning, June 16, on a list of over 200 people in Multnomah County last week whose lender filed a "notice of default."

As first reported on blogtown.portlandmercury.com, Adams, whose annual salary is $118,144, is behind on his mortgage payments on his Kenton house by $4,995. The monthly payment on his mortgage is $960, according to the mayor's default trust deed, obtained from the county by the Mercury.

The mayor's house will be auctioned on the steps of the Multnomah County Courthouse on the morning of October 13 at 10 am—just two blocks down the street from city hall—unless Adams can resolve the outstanding default.

"Banks in this market right now are very aggressive at trying to resolve issues with their borrowers," says Fred Stewart, a real estate agent who runs the website multnomahforeclosures.com. Stewart happened to come across Adams' name on the list on Tuesday morning. Stewart also ran for city commissioner against Nick Fish in last year's election, and endorsed Adams for mayor.

"I can't see any good reason for Sam to go into foreclosure," Stewart continues. "To me, this just shows that he's under stress, like a lot of people in Portland, and that's not good."

Adams declared bankruptcy in 1989, "swamped by a combination of medical bills and high credit card debt," according to the Oregonian. And the mayor has repeatedly said he would not allow the Breedlove scandal to affect his ability to run the city. Indeed, he was widely praised for crafting a shrewd city budget last month.

Adams has retained the services of a private attorney, Robert Weaver, to defend himself in Attorney General John Kroger's investigation into the Breedlove scandal.

"This is a private issue, but if you must know, I've had to pay some significant upfront legal fees, and now I'm getting caught up on my mortgage payments," said the mayor, reached via cell phone on Tuesday afternoon. Adams declined further comment on the story.

"We are a very positive campaign and will continue to run this recall questioning Adams' lack of public trust and political capital based on his civic transgressions," says Jasun Wurster of the Recall Sam Adams campaign, which plans to start collecting signatures on July 7. "However, we feel this latest news is indicative of his personality, and have serious concerns with him being able to balance the city's checkbook."

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