When Deborah Foss, a 66-year-old grandmother in New Bedford, Mass., bought her home in 2015, she expected it would be where she would live the rest of her life in comfort and security. But by February of this year, she had been forced from her home and is now reduced to living in her car.
What went wrong? With chronic health problems and living on a fixed income, Foss fell behind on her property taxes when she hit a rough financial patch. That’s when the city sold a $9,626 tax lien on her home to a private investment company. Under Massachusetts law, the lien gave the company power to take full title to her property when she didn’t pay her debt quickly enough. The company evicted Foss and quickly sold the property. Almost before she could grasp what was happening, she had lost her home and $210,000 in equity.
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