Elderly, Minority Homeowners Lose Homes Over As Little As $400

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Elderly, Minority Homeowners Lose Homes Over As Little As $400

Elderly, Minority Homeowners Lose Homes Over As Little As $400

If it ain’t the banks, it’s the government!

HuffPo-

The elderly and other vulnerable homeowners are losing their homes because they owe as little as a few hundred dollars in back taxes, according to a report from a consumer group.

Outdated state laws allow big banks and other investors to reap windfall profits by buying the houses for a pittance and reselling them, the National Consumer Law Center said in a report being released Tuesday.

Local governments can seize and sell a home if the owner falls behind on property taxes and fees. The process helps governments make ends meet at a time when low property values and the weak economy are squeezing tax revenue.

But tax debts as small as $400 can cause people to lose their homes because of arcane laws and misinformation among consumers, says John Rao, the report’s author and an attorney with NCLC.

The consequences are “devastating for individuals, families and communities,” Rao said. He said states should update laws so speculators can’t profit from misinformed homeowners and people who have difficulty managing their finances.

[HUFFINGTON POST]

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