Government Prevents 101-Year-Old Evictee From Moving Back Home

Four months ago, a 101-year-old Detroit woman was evicted from her home because her son could no longer afford payments. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development stepped in and said she go back home, but has now reversed course, deeming the residence unfit to live in.

She tells The Detroit News “Here I am, 100 years old (rounding her age), and don’t have a home. Oh Lord, help me.”

Now that the HUD controls the property, officials say the house is beyond repair and the department won’t pay the cost to get it up to code. The department is looking for alternatives, but for now the woman has no permanent home as she crashes with a friend.

She lived in the house for nearly 60 years, but lost control when she entered into a reverse mortgage. Her sad plight serves as a warning sign for retirees who think a reverse mortgage may be an easy fix to their financial problems.

Evicted Detroiter: ‘100 years old, and don’t have a home’ [The Detroit News]


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  1. pop top says:

    So first you’re trying to spin this article as a “EBIL GUBMINT” article, but then you say that the house is unsafe for her to live in and they don’t want her to live in such a place and are searching for another home for her. What is the point of the headline then except for riling people up unnecessarily? Oh, page views. I gotcha.

    • Jerry Vandesic says:

      Apparently the house was severely damaged (copper pipes stolen, etc.) after she was evicted. If that is true, I put the responsiblity on the people that evicted her but did not keep the house safe.

      • binder34 says:

        Where did you get that detail? The article says that the damage already done in the house before HUD moved in “far exceeded what could’ve occurred that day.” I did some (admittedly quick) Googling but didn’t see anything supporting that claim. From the article, it sounds as though the government is doing everything they can (looking for alternate accommodations for her, paying the friend who is currently housing her, etc.).

      • pop top says:

        Regardless of when that happened, it’s still unsafe for her to live there and kudos to HUD for not putting her in that kind of environment.

      • Not Given says:

        Her son probably took the copper to sell.

    • Portlandia says:

      THANK YOU! I’m glad someone else picked up on this. HUD tried to do the right thing but found the house in bad shape so they wont send a senior back in. Seems responsible to me.

  2. unpolloloco says:

    This isn’t even a bank foreclosure. This one is because of failure to pay property taxes (after the son stole all the 101-year-old’s money)! HUD is looking for better housing, since the house she was living in is beyond repair. I’m not even sure that the reverse mortgage really was the issue here – the only thing it did was to gave HUD the power to move her out of unsafe living conditions.

    • unpolloloco says:

      *stole at least according to the comments on the original article. The article doesn’t mention where the money went.

    • dolemite says:

      I was wondering how it was “foreclosed” on with a reverse mortgage.

      • The Slime Oozing Out From Your TV Set says:

        1. SON takes out reverse mortgage on HER house.
        2. Son doesn’t pay taxes on mortgage.
        3. Gov. officials see a home that A&E’s Hoarders wouldn’t even go near, after it is foreclosed on.
        4. Gov. says, “Nobody goes back in that rat hole.”
        5. Media blames the government for making this woman “homeless.”

        Props to those news outlets that actually checked details and mentioned the reverse mortgage situation.

        The government is doing the best they can with a bad family situation they got dragged into.

  3. Extended-Warranty says:

    ^ Don’t forget, there’s also sympathy points because shes 394 years old!

    • inadequatewife says:

      Exactly. Take away the plight of the “poor old woman”, and she’s not being treated any different than the next person who cannot pay their bills due to poor money management.

      It’s no different than the pity we are supposed to give to the single mothers, pregnant women, widows, diabetics and handicapped.

      Unless she is being discriminated against SOLELY on being old and wrinkled, I don’t care how old she is – she’s still responsible for her own finances.

      Sorry, no compassion from me this morning!

      • conquestofbread says:

        The difference between diabetics, single moms, widows, and pregnant women is that they can probably work to earn a living.

        You can’t lump that in with disabilities, since the person may be actually unable to work due to the severity or nature of their condition. The elderly are also different, although it depends on their age, health, and mental condition.

        Most people would agree that at age 101, they are probably too frail to work, and even if they aren’t, they have earned their damn rest.

        The elderly are also more susceptible to being taken advantage of by people they trust, like this woman, because they might not understand how things work or have diminished mental acuity. In this case, her son misled her into a reverse mortgage and stole her money. This is why elder abuse and fraud is such a common and important issue, and why they deserve protections that other adults don’t.

        • inadequatewife says:

          At no point did I suggest that this woman actually go out and get a job. Yes, she’s old, she (possibly) worked hard for many years and certainly deserves to relax during retirement.

          I am more irritated by the fact that we are expected to sympathize with her just because she’s 101 years old. If she was 35 and let her husband deal with the finances, but all other circumstances were the same, would we have the same level of sympathy? Probably not.

          • voterfraud says:

            It sounds to me like that is more indicative of a massive failure of compassion on your part, rather than an excess of compassion from everyone else.

            101 year olds victimized by anyone, be they predatory family members, predatory banks, or even the government, should not be forced to live on the street.

          • sprybuzzard says:

            I would, but then again, I apparently have a heart.

          • Not Given says:

            At 35 years instead of 101 years
            1. She wouldn’t have been able to get a reverse mortgage for her son to steal
            2. She would be able to work

          • tsukiotoshi says:

            Because at 101 she may not be as well equipped to fend for herself as a health 35 year old.

    • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

      Yes, despite the fact that she obviously raised her son to be a sorry asshole and mooch off of her and disrespect her enough to steal from her, then not tell her she was being foreclosed on. I also wonder why her son was handling her finances when she was all of about 77 or 78-years-old.

      Is her situation sad? Yes, but I don’t think that she is a complete victim. I also think HUD is going above and beyond to help her. I sure her rotten son will be back living with her as well.

  4. Cat says:

    “Jesus, God, help, my lord, Jesus, help me I’m 100 years old and don’t have a home, Oh Lord, help me. Oh, lord Jesus Christ, please !”

    (I hear this in Eddie Murphy’s voice.)

  5. failurate says:

    This is Detroit… couldn’t they just throw down a Jackson, buy 4 more houses and use the parts to build one complete house?

  6. George4478 says:

    >>Her sad plight serves as a warning sign for retirees who think a reverse mortgage may be an easy fix to their financial problems.

    Her plight? Her son didn’t pay the taxes and her home is trashed and unlivable. How did her reverse mortgage do these things?

    • Bsamm09 says:

      I know what reverse mortgages are in general but wouldn’t they require or pay the taxes themselves? They are getting the house and I would want to make sure there are no liens on it.

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDave‚Ñ¢ says:

      It’s all somehow Robert Wagner’s fault for advertising them!

  7. CubeRat says:

    I feel very sorry for this lady.

    This type of foreclosure is expected to increase in the next couple of years, that’s one reason why all the big banks, and I believe most of the medium sized banks stopped doing these. If the reverse mortgage holder does not keep up on taxes & insurance, they can be evicted. I thought the HUD limit was 5K, but I can’t find any sources.

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDave‚Ñ¢ says:

      Did you read the article and/or the random gathering of words phil posted above? I would suggest reading the actual article, as it answers a lot of questions.

  8. Portlandia says:

    Phil Posts why the sensational headline?? Your headline eludes to evil government mishandling senior and her home but the cases don’t support that. IN FACT, HUD stepped in to help this person only to find her home in unsafe conditions.

    You should stick to your preferred stories about generic things like how to fold socks or giving completely obvious advice.

  9. The Slime Oozing Out From Your TV Set says:

    Yeah, totally the government’s fault.

    “Hollis’s son took out the reverse mortgage for the $32,000 assessed value of the property, an option that HUD permits for the elderly.”

    Sorry, but no. Her son should never have taken out the reverse mortgage. Her son should receive the fallout from this, rather than her. Her son(s) should have been helping to keep the house safe.

    • libwitch says:

      exactly. My guess is that at some point she probably signed the house over to her children – not an uncommon practice. But if you don’t take steps to protect yourself financially and include clauses such as right of residency, less then fantastic children can do all sorts of things to you and in your name.

  10. Nyxalinth says:

    I think they just decided this to give her a big Eff You for being able to keep the house. They wouldn’t have cared otherwise.

  11. lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

    From the article “Warren Hollis and another one of Hollis’ sons, 69-year-old Ira Jr., both lived with her at the home on Carbondale. The two brothers are staying with a neighbor near the house.”

    So two grown men, one of which took out a reverse mortgage and didn’t pay the taxes, lived WITH their mother as old as they are, let the house become a pigsty and unfit for habitation, and now they’re off the hook?

    How is this not some type of elder abuse?

  12. Kestris says:

    My parents were considering a reverse mortagage. I told my mom to please, please do all her research into reverse mortagages before getting one.

    Last I heard they decided not to.

  13. ishootfriendlies says:

    So they borrowed money, and then the lender expected to be paid back? Those evil scum!

  14. HogwartsProfessor says:

    I hope they find her something. Poor granny.

  15. Awesome McAwesomeness says:

    Last time I saw her talking about this, she said “God is a workin.” She was heaping praises on God. I kind of am wondering why God God isn’t workin’ no more. Maybe HUD was pissed that she gave all the credit to God instead of them.

  16. Awesome McAwesomeness says:

    Her plight is that she raised a sorry son and decided not to keep track of her own finances. He took the mortgage out in 1984. She wasn’t 101 back then and should have had (and still should) some oversight of her own finances. Unless you are suffering from a decent amount of dementia (which she does not appear to be), you are still responsible for yourself to some extent.

  17. dush says:

    Why is HUD stealing private property?