Man loses home for failing to pay $134 tax bill
Earlier this week we discussed some of the deceitful foreclosure practices that are continuing to harm homeowners here in the Atlanta area. Many homeowners may not be aware that in addition to issues with banks and lenders, tax bills are also resulting in foreclosures around the country.
The media has recently covered the story of a 76-year-old Marine Corps veteran who lost his home over an unpaid $134 property tax bill.
The man apparently did not pay the tax bill due to his dementia, and the Washington, D.C., government sold the lien to an investor that then foreclosed on the man’s $197,000 house and sold it. The man did not receive a penny for his equity.
This man is one of many homeowners who have lost their homes in the D.C. area over small tax bills, as the district continues to sell tax liens to investors.
An investigative report on this problem shows that of 200 homeowners who lost their homes due to tax liens, one in three homeowners owed less than $1,000.
This man’s story is yet another example of a homeowner suffering terrible abuses simply for making an insignificant mistake.
Those who are facing tax liens and/or foreclosure here in Georgia need to be aware that they do have rights, although it is very difficult to protect them. It can be critical to seek legal counsel as soon as possible when one is facing such actions. It is very risky for a homeowner to try to negotiate with a bank or another party alone, as these parties are often not on the homeowner’s side.
Source: Washington Post, “Left With Nothing,” Michael Sallah, Debbie Cenziper, Steven Rich, Sept. 9, 2013