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Bank files for foreclosure on Gibbs home
Building business in bankruptcy
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Hall County Commissioner-elect Scott Gibbs is in financial trouble, confirming Thursday that his North Hall home is in foreclosure and his business has filed for bankruptcy.

The home was not included in the November tax sale on the courthouse steps after Gibbs' bank paid the taxes, according to the Hall County Tax Commissioner's Office.

Gibbs said his family is still living in the home and said he is in discussions with the bank.

"We're trying to work with the bank and see if we can renegotiate the terms of the loan," Gibbs said.

"Unfortunately that is a lifetime of work that we have invested in that."

Gibbs, who takes office in January, will represent District 3, which covers North and East Hall.

He filed bankruptcy for his construction business, J.D. Gibbs Grading, in June.

According to the bankruptcy filing, J.D. Gibbs Grading had $577,451.11 in liabilities and $151,700 in assets at the time.

"My business was probably 80 percent government related, sales tax from other counties, and we did work for the University of Georgia. They stopped spending. They don't have the funds to spend anymore," Gibbs said. "We woke up one day and business was cut 75 percent. It didn't just slow down. It just stopped."

Gibbs said he has been operating the family business for the last 20 years.

"We've seen recessions last 13, 14 months but nothing like this," Gibbs said. "We had about 28 months of reserves put up to operate off of. We tried to be very conservative."

He said he will not let his financial trouble impact his service as a commissioner.

"I can't imagine it would affect it in any way," Gibbs said.

Gibbs, who won the Republican primary and ran unopposed in the general election, said he was open about his financial troubles when he was campaigning.

"I tried not to hide that fact at all," he said.

Commissioner-elect Craig Lutz, who will represent South Hall on the commission in January, said he doesn't think Gibbs' situation will hurt the board.

"I don't necessarily see that as a hindrance to him serving in office. If anything, I think it humanizes the problem that a lot of people in our county are facing," Lutz said. "I've had a lot of friends in my neighborhood who have gone through similar situations. The economy has taken a personal effect on all of our lives."

Financial issues came into play earlier this election year.

In September, Gov.-elect Nathan Deal admitted he owed more than $2 million in business loans that come due in February.

The money was invested in a failed sporting goods store started by Deal's daughter and son-in-law.

The news did not hinder his campaign and some political analysts speculated it made him more relatable to people around the state who were suffering as a result of the recession.