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Author: Christina Martin

July 09, 2019

The government stole their property. Now the Perez family is fighting against home equity theft

Six years ago, Erica Perez and her father, Romualdo, purchased a small, $60,000 apartment complex in Detroit. They were pursuing their American dream. Romualdo has family in Detroit, so part of his retirement plan was to fix up the complex, along with a small home next door, and spend his golden years with his family, ...

June 27, 2019

The Hill: Landmark Supreme Court decision revives property rights

Rose Knick, who lives on her farm in rural Pennsylvania, didn't initially set out to overturn a decades-old Supreme Court precedent or to help property owners across the country. She just wanted justice when town officials threatened her with crippling fines. But as time passed, she found a greater purpose in her struggle: setting a ...

June 21, 2019

Justice for Rose: Landmark Supreme Court decision opens federal courts to property rights claims

Today, the Supreme Court gave property owners everywhere a major victory, overturning a 34-year precedent that has robbed countless individuals of their property rights. And you have an unassuming woman in rural Pennsylvania to thank. In a 5-4 opinion on Knick v. Township of Scott written by Chief Justice John Roberts, the Justices held that ...

June 14, 2019

How local governments are using foreclosure laws to steal people’s homes

A few years ago, my husband and I rented a car while visiting Italy. We had great fun driving to small towns off the beaten path. But about six months after we returned, I received a $250 ticket in the mail for accidentally driving onto a "locals only" road. If we had received the ticket ...

May 10, 2019

National coalition joins PLF against government-sanctioned home theft

PLF client Uri Rafaeli accidentally underpaid the property taxes on his Southfield Michigan house by $8.41. So Oakland County took Rafaeli's house to collect on the small debt. The County also took PLF client Andre Ohanessian's 2.7 acres of valuable land in Orchard Village to collect a $6,000 debt. The County sold both properties and ...

May 08, 2019

New Montana Law will save homes by ending state’s predatory tax foreclosure system

During the last recession, Gary Guidotti, a 78-year old electrician in Cascade County, Montana, fell behind on his property taxes. Under Montana's tax law, the county took his home because of the $1,125 tax debt and sold it to investors for pennies on the dollar. Guidotti lost everything while investors reaped a windfall—taking absolute title ...

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