Mar 14, 2007
Months of rumors were confirmed on March 8 when a required legal ad buried in the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus reported that the home of Chris Ward, R-Brighton Township, and his ex-wife is in foreclosure. However, it took the Detroit News to actually report the story that his Brighton Township home will be sold at auction next month.
These were just some of the rumors that were flying around during the last election season, but we chose not to talk about rumors. According to the Detroit News, the lawmaker and his ex-wife owe $158,292 on the home, worth $93,320, according to the county's assessed value.
The News reported Ward's 12-year marriage officially ended on Jan. 17, although court records show he moved out of the house in June 2005, filing for divorce five months later. It also reported the wife’s attorney said the lawmaker was responsible for the mortgage payments until the divorce was finalized.
"At that point foreclosure was imminent. A lot of payments had been missed. It was clear she certainly could not pay it and he was the bread winner," said attorney Marcia M. McClure of Bingham Farms.
This is being spun as a result of the high foreclosure rate in Michigan. However, that’s because many people have lost jobs or suffered a loss of work hours, lost overtime or took a cut in pay or commissions. As the Minority Floor Leader, Ward makes $91,650 annually, according to the Press & Argus’s annual Public Payroll feature, not including allowances for mileage and other expenses. Before being elected in 2002, Ward was the Brighton Township Clerk where he earned $45,500 a year.