Woman Could Lose Home She’s Lived In For 55 Years Because Of A Bureaucratic Mistake

A blind woman in Indiana living on a limited income says if the land her house is on is taken out from underneath her, she’ll have nowhere to go. But despite the fact that she’s lived in the home for 55 years, she’s facing eviction because no one realized the land had been sold off years ago. Ah, bureaucracy.

ABC 7 tells the tale of the 67-year-old woman who lost her sight and her job years ago after getting an infection. She thought she’d live out her days in the home she’s been in since 1958, but there’s a problem: Her family bought the house from a church way back when, but the church still owned the land underneath it. The family just paid taxes on the house and rented the land.

In the 1970s, the woman was told that the land was sold to the town, so she started paying $10 a month in rent for the property.

“Back then you were able to have a house on a piece of property owned by somebody else and that is how this whole thing got snafued,” said the county treasurer (in an admirable use of “snafu” as a verb, might we add).

But unbeknownst to her, although she says she kept asking the town if it still owned the land, that tiny parcel was never sold to the town. Instead, it just stopped paying taxes on it, leading to the land selling in a tax sale for a mere $43.

“For some reason nobody told this lady and or anybody else the land was on a tax sale, consequently the man who bought it only paid $43 for land,” said the treasurer.

Now, the man who owns the land is reportedly taking the woman to court to evict her, unless she pays $300 a month in rent. That’s money she says she doesn’t have — but she also can’t afford to move.

“My income with a pension and social security is $1,000. Tell me where I’m going to find a place to rent,” she says.


Blind woman faces eviction from Indiana home over bureaucratic mistake [ABC 7]

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  1. Tripnmonkey says:

    In reading the headline I jumped to the conclusion that Bank of America was involved. After reading the article, I see that it was the only organization less well managed – government.

  2. PhillyDom says:

    Why do these “bureaucratic mistakes” only seem to happen to the poor or disadvantaged?

    • LooseSasquatch says:

      Because unfortunately for the poor and/or disadvantaged, the non-poor/disadvantaged usually have some kind of flesh-eating lawyer handy who would make short work of this case, and/or would have possibly seen this coming and allowed their client to purchase his land for $43.

      The deck is stacked against some (okay, MOST) people in our country. . .

  3. afinch says:

    Why doesn’t he just do the decent thing and sell it back to her for $43?

    People suck.

    Also, doesn’t this technically mean he doesn’t have ownership of the house at all? So what happens when/if she’s evicted? Who owns the house then?

    • KyMann says:

      In the states I’ve lived in, you have to give them a certain amount of time to move the building (varies from 30 days to 6 months, depending on location). After that, the building is yours. In at least one state, you can sue the building’s owner for the cost of tearing it down if they don’t move it.

  4. mjbressman says:

    What is wrong with people these days!?!? What kind of person takes advantage of someone who is disabled?? He might as well go to the park and steal lollipops from toddlers! If he’s truly that despicable, I hope someone shames him publicly!

  5. Liberal says:

    Washington is setting a great example. Milk the poor and disabled. The tax sale notice would not have been something she could have seen because she is blind. Often people like her are isolated. His Church Bulletin will read “Guido tosses blind women.”

  6. KyMann says:

    Look at it from the landowner’s side —
    He’s paid taxes on the land for how many decades? He’s probably done some form of regular maintenance (weed-mowing, trimming branches away from power lines, etc). There may have been city or county assessments for improvements in the area.

    He’s probably ready to use the land for the purpose he had in mind when he bought it, but he can’t if she’s living there. His only legal option might be to have her evicted for non-payment of rent. His lawyer might also have explained to him the legal liability he faces if something happens to her while she’s living on his land.

    It’s not his fault the city didn’t properly notify the occupant about the sale.

    • CommonC3nts says:

      Clayton Pullins just bought the land for $43 and now wants to kick out a blind woman from her house. The blind woman owns the house, but paid rent to the city for the land.
      The rent she paid to the city was a lie as the city did not actually own the land like they claimed.
      Clayton Pullins is the devil to kick her out of her house.
      He should wait until she passes away to take the land.
      The land is right next to Cedar Lake which is very, very valuable land.
      To only get it for $43 is like winning the lottery.

      I grew up in a town next to Cedar Lake, so I am not suprised at how heartless people are there. Everyone just wants money and will screw over their neighbor to get it.

  7. CommonC3nts says:

    What a joke that they local government would not personally tell the lady the land was for sale since she was living there and has very little income. Heartless jerks.
    Anys the new owner should not be an ass over $43 land.
    He should simply let the lady pay the taxes and to continue to live there rent free and when she passes away then he can do what he wants with $43 land.
    Does anyone have common sense anymore or do they just all want to find ways to hurt others????

  8. CommonC3nts says:

    Clayton Pullins is heartless to force this women out of her house for $43.
    There is only one Clayton Pullins in Porter County
    http://plusaddress.com/clayton-pullins-chesterton-2199268153
    He deserves a public shaming.

  9. econobikerredux says:

    From the story it reads that the church never sold off the parcel that her house was on. The church probably figured that she owned it or something. Then she paid rent to the city when told that the city owned it.
    Ergo some record of her rent payments to the city should be found and said payments applied to the taxes or to establish that the city was the defacto owner of the land by virtue of accepting rent payments for the property.