Ruben Hinojosa, Texas Congressman, Emerges From Bankruptcy

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 27:  Mexican President-Elect Enrique Pena Nieto (2L) shares a laugh with members of Congress (L-R)
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 27: Mexican President-Elect Enrique Pena Nieto (2L) shares a laugh with members of Congress (L-R) Rep. Ruben Hinojosa (D-TX), Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA) and Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) in the Rayburn Room at the U.S. Capitol November 27, 2012 in Washington, DC. Nieto, of Mexico's Institutional Revolutionary Party, will also visit the White House and meet with President Barack Obama today, days before he takes office on December 1. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Rep. Ruben Hinojosa (D-Texas), who filed for personal bankruptcy in December 2010, has emerged from Chapter 11, according to a court document.

The document, issued by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of Texas, provides a final decree closing Hinojosa’s bankruptcy case.

Hinojosa, who has served in Congress since 1997, held $2.9 million in debt at the time he declared bankruptcy, including $2.6 million claimed by Wells Fargo Bank. In a written statement, Hinojosa attributed his bankruptcy to a loan he secured to rescue H&H Meat Products, a slaughterhouse founded by Hinojosa’s father and uncle, after the company declared bankruptcy in 2008.

“I have done everything humanly possible to avoid filing for bankruptcy protection to no avail,” Hinojosa, who sits on the House Financial Services Committee, said in a statement at the time. “The bank debt of H&H was more than I could handle financially.”

While House members are required to disclose personal financial documents with Congress every year, there is no rule that prohibits members indebted to banks from serving on the House Financial Services Committee.

Hinojosa’s annual congressional salary is $174,000. His debt stood in stark contrast to the wealth of some 249 members Congress -- roughly 47 percent -- who were reported to be millionaires in 2011.

In the five months following Hinojosa’s bankruptcy filing, documents revealed that the congressman spent thousands of dollars on seemingly frivolous expenses -- including $1,800 on clothing, $680 on cleaning services and $540 in allowance for his children.



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