Wall Street Journal : The Supreme Court Takes Up ‘Home-Equity Theft’

April 22, 2023 | By CHRISTINA MARTIN

Geraldine Tyler never thought she’d end up in front of the U.S. Supreme Court—especially at 94. But she also never imagined the government would seize her Minneapolis home and sell it. Ms. Tyler is a victim of what’s often called home-equity theft, but this form of robbery isn’t criminal; in fact, it’s legal in a … ...


The grandmother v. the theft

April 10, 2023 | By CHRISTINA MARTIN

Geraldine Tyler, the 94-year-old Minneapolis woman at the center of next month’s argument before the Supreme Court in Tyler v. Hennepin County, only owed $2,300 in property taxes. That’s what started this whole thing. Ms. Tyler acquired a small condominium in 1999. After she moved in, crime in her neighborhood began increasing and bec ...


Telegram & Gazette : Mass. property tax foreclosure laws harmful, inequitable

March 19, 2023 | By CHRISTINA MARTIN

Last year, Deborah Foss was forced to live in her car during the coldest months of the year after New Bedford officials placed a tax lien on her home and sold it to a private company called Tallage for $9,626 — the total amount she owed, including interest. The tax lien gave the investor authority under … ...


Orange County Register : Ending home equity theft in California, once and for all

March 15, 2023 | By CHRISTINA MARTIN

When the government seizes private property for a public use, the Constitution requires that the original owner must be compensated for the loss. But in California, the law provides a loophole for officials to take that same property for a public use without any compensation if the owner falls too far behind on property taxes. … ...


Omaha World-Herald : End home equity theft in Nebraska

February 05, 2023 | By CHRISTINA MARTIN

Kevin Fair owns a modest home in Scottsbluff where he and his wife, Terry, lived for nearly two decades. In 2014, they fell behind on their property taxes after Kevin quit his job to care for Terry, who was suffering from multiple sclerosis. With only Kevin’s Social Security income to support them, they struggled to … ...


Star Tribune : Collecting taxes, Minnesota steals assets of the vulnerable

January 06, 2023 | By CHRISTINA MARTIN

In 2015, officials in Hennepin County seized an elderly woman’s condo and sold it, over about $2,300 of unpaid property taxes, plus $12,700 in penalties, interest and fees. They sold that home for $40,000 and kept every penny, robbing elderly Geraldine Tyler of her home equity. And that’s just one example. From 2014 through 2021, ̷ ...


The Hill : Government-sponsored home equity theft robs the elderly and poor of millions of dollars

December 05, 2022 | By CHRISTINA MARTIN

If you owe someone $14, should they be entitled to take a $100 bill out of your wallet and keep the change? Obviously not. Yet in a dozen states and the nation’s capital, the government collects delinquent real estate taxes that way. Take, for example, 93-year-old Geraldine Tyler. When she failed to pay approximately $2,300 … ...


Michigan officials steal families’ homes to pad their budgets

October 21, 2022 | By CHRISTINA MARTIN

Greed: an intense and selfish desire for something, especially wealth, power   The house on Diamond Lake was estimated to be worth between $3 million and $4 million. It was nestled on the shore with other multimillion-dollar houses in the postcard-perfect Michigan setting. “Diamond is a very appropriate name for this beautiful lake,R ...


The Hill : How government encourages property theft in Massachusetts — and homeowners are fighting back

August 29, 2022 | By CHRISTINA MARTIN

The first time Mark Mucciaccio of South Easton, Mass., remembers hearing of Tallage Lincoln LLC was when he learned the real estate investment company had taken his longtime family home out from under him. … ...