Foss v. City of New Bedford, et al.

State’s tax takings law enriches private company with senior citizen’s home and life savings

March 31, 2022 Update: Deborah has been living out of her car. Her family and friends have launched a GoFundMe to help her secure housing. If you’d like to donate directly to Deborah, visit her GoFundMe page. Life has not been easy for Deborah Foss in recent years. The 66-year-old grandmother lives in Massachusetts on ...

Hall v. Meisner

Michigan families fight to close state’s home equity theft loophole

When Tawanda and Prentiss Hall fell behind on their property taxes, they did what many financially strapped homeowners do: set up a payment plan with the local government. They didn't want to lose the Southfield, Michigan home where they lived with their children. The Oakland County treasurer ended the plan, however, with the tax debt standing a ...

Johnson v. City of East Orange

New Jersey family fights government-sanctioned property theft

In 2014, Lynette Johnson bought commercial property in East Orange, New Jersey, for her son and daughter to run their businesses. Unfortunately, Lynette never received notice of her tax assessments, the eventual tax lien, and foreclosure. By the time her tax lien was foreclosed in 2018, she owed close to $20,000. The city sold the property to a pri ...

Tyler v. Hennepin County

92-year-old widow fights home equity theft in Minnesota

When crime moved into Geraldine Tyler's Minneapolis neighborhood in 2010, she moved out. The elderly widow was living alone and, sharing her family's alarm about her safety, she hastily left behind the one-bedroom condo she owned and rented an apartment in a safer area. While Geraldine and her family focused on her health and safety, unpaid propert ...

Mucciaccio v. Town of Easton and Tallage Lincoln, LLC

A family’s loss is a private company’s windfall in state’s home equity theft scheme

Mark and Neil Mucciaccio treasure their deep family roots in Easton, Massachusetts. In fact, the brothers still live in their childhood home with Mark's wife, stepdaughter, and two grandchildren. A streak of financial hardship and family medical troubles that began in 2013 left them struggling to keep up with their property tax bills. In 2016, the ...

Feltner v. Cuyahoga County Board of Revision

Ohio county’s illegal tax foreclosure robs property owner and taxpayers

Elliot Feltner inherited his father-in-law's Cleveland, Ohio, autobody shop in 2012 and discovered the property, while valued at $144,500, had a property tax debt of more than $65,000. He decided to sell it to pay the debt and even found a buyer, but before he could complete a sale, the county took his property without paying him for his $80,000 in ...

foreclosure
Barnette v. HBI, LLC

Taking tax-foreclosed property requires proper notice

In 2002, Walter Barnette was working in the Omaha suburb of Bellevue when he spotted an acre of land in a growing neighborhood. Though he lives across the nearby border with Iowa, he bought the property with the intent of one day building a home. Walter fell on hard times, however, and failed to pay his 2010 and 2011 property taxes—$986.50—to S ...

Navigable Waters Cases

Fighting government’s make-believe, illegal definition of navigable waters

The Clean Water Act (CWA) has a seemingly simple purpose: protect the navigable waters of the United States from pollution. The federal agencies charged with carrying out and enforcing the law, however, have expanded the definition of "navigable waters" several times since the Act went on the books in 1972. Represented by PLF free of charge, a numb ...

Erica Perez
Perez v. Wayne County

Family fights home equity theft to protect the American Dream

Though Erica Perez and her family spent most of their lives in New Jersey, they had their sights set on Detroit to join their relatives who already lived there. In 2012, Erica and her father Romualdo bought a property containing a four-unit apartment building and a dilapidated single-family home in Detroit for $60,000. They spent three years fixing ...