Chrysler deputy chief Jim Press in a $1.4 million mess
19 September 2009
Jim Press, deputy chief executive of US carmaker Chrysler Group that recently went through a government-sponsored bankruptcy, is in more than $1.4 million of financial trouble of his own. His house in Birmingham, Michigan has been placed under lien for $947,409 by the Internal Revenue Service, while a lender is suing him for $467,083, plus attorneys' fees, for unpaid debts.
The lien on one of his houses is for non-payment of 2007 taxes. This means the IRS can sell his house if he does not pay up quickly. Press is also being sued by the Western Federal Credit Union for unpaid loans along with interest and late fees.
"Due to the turmoil in the automobile industry and uncertainty surrounding our ownership, my request for a bonus payment was denied," Press wrote to Western Federal on 11 November 2008 on a Chrysler letterhead. "I am attempting to arrange for a loan against my future bonus with my employer which would allow me to pay this loan off."
Press also wrote that he had asked for loans from two banks and attempted to re-finance his home in order to pay off the debt, but was unsuccessful. After that request, Press was given additional time to pay $609,286 he owed the credit union, but made only one payment of $203,000.
Press's home is now for sale, according to an online listing posted by a local realty agency. The asking price for the 6-bedroom, 6-bath "New England style" home is $3.2 million, according to the listing. The house has been slapped with a $947,410 federal tax lien because the auto executive failed to pay 2007 income taxes.
There are rumours that Press, who came to Chrysler from Toyota in late 2007, would be leaving Chrysler by the end of the year. Press was considered a huge prize for Chrysler at the time of his hiring, and some reports have pegged his compensation at nearly $50 million.