Republican gubernatorial hopeful Nathan Deal said Wednesday that “I’m not about to file bankruptcy” despite a looming $2.3 million business loan coming due in February.
Deal, speaking to reporters at his Buckhead campaign headquarters, said “I’m going to make sure our obligations are met.”
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Wednesday that Deal and his wife invested about $2 million in a retail venture by their daughter and son-in-law, a business that ultimately failed in the troubled economy. Deal lost his entire stake when the business failed, after he guaranteed a series of bank loans to the business as its debt doubled and then quadrupled.
An analysis of Deal’s assets by the AJC found that he might not be able to repay the loan. His home in Gainesville is for sale. Other property he owns in the area was listed as collateral for the loans.
But Deal said Wednesday he’ll meet his commitments. Asked how he’ll come up with the money due in February, Deal said, “we will cross those bridges when we come to them.”
“We have the property that is the collateral for the loan. It is up for sale and on the market. My house has never been collateral for this loan at all,” Deal said.
Asked whether he intends to repay all that is owed, Deal again said, “our intention is to live up to our obligations.”
Deal said he does not regret helping his daughter.
“These are the consequences of down-turned economies,” he said. “‘I’ve made great investments in the past and I’ve made a bad investment. But I stick by my obligations, but more importantly I stick by my family.”
He and his wife, he said, decided that rather than leaving his children “a big estate,” they would “give it to them when they need it.”
The failed business venture and his own financial situation should not be an issue in his race against Democrat Roy Barnes, he said.
“This was an investment,” he said. “It was an investment on behalf of a child. Had different circumstances existed it would have been a very successful investment. It was beyond anybody’s control. Anytime you invest in a child I think it’s always a good investment.”