Government Corruption: People Losing Homes & Land over Tax Bills as low as $40

The American Dream: Owning a home has become the American Nightmare for a growing number of people across the country.

foreclosure sign

Imagine owning your home free and clear, after decades of hard work and faithful payments, only to lose it over a $40 tax lien. Well that’s exactly what’s happening to a growing number of Americans who have had their homes stolen from them, after governments around the country sold miniscule tax liens and allowed greedy investors to then seize the homes.

Believe it or not, you could be at risk of losing your home over even minute amounts of unpaid property taxes. Earlier this week, the Washington Post covered the story of a 76-year-old Marine Veteran who lost his $197,000 home over a $134 property tax debt.

It all happened because governments around the country have been placing liens on properties when home owners fail to pay their property tax bills. The homes are then sold to greedy investors who foreclose on the homes, raking in profits that sometimes add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The system allows investors to take these tiny debts and then add legal fees and fines that are so high the home owner can no longer afford to pay the original debt. A $100 delinquency, like the one Marine Veteran Bennie Coleman had, can then skyrocket to $4,999 — in some cases much more.

foreclosure signEven worse, as in Coleman’s case, the investors then take everything. Not only are they allowed to collect on the debt and all the phony fees, but they are allowed to keep everything when they sell the house. That means an investor who purchases a $100 tax lien from the government can then turn around and foreclose on a home that’s worth 10, 100, even 10,000 times what the original lien was worth.

While these local governments would like you to believe these people are tax cheats, a 10 month investigation by the post revealed that in Washington D.C. alone, one-third of the nearly 200 homeowners who lost their properties in recent years had liens of less than $1,000. One person highlighted in the investigation had a $287 tax lien that sold it less than eight weeks for $129,000.

Even more troubling, was the investigation found over 1,900 tax liens that were sold to these investors by mistake. The home owners owed nothing, yet D.C. sold these erroneous tax liens allowing investors to foreclose on homes that owed nothing.

In one case a 64-year-old woman spent two years fighting to save her home after she was mistakenly charged $8.61 in interest. Sadly most of the people who face this nightmare simply give up. Faced with huge legal bills, and a debt that grows by the day, many of them are forced to turn over their homes because of a system that allows these investors to basically steal their homes.

The American Nightmare

Over the last couple of years we have covered story after story highlighting how home ownership has become a sham in this country. From giant corporations using eminent domain to steal people’s homes, to the federal government using the Department of Homeland Security and the EPA to muscle people off their land, it seems homeowners are under attack from every direction.

We’ve warned people debt is one of the biggest threats they face, and as we see in case after case it’s being now being used to rob people of their homes. Remember, in a majority of these cases these people are not dead beats who refuse to pay their bills.  They’re average Americans who are being screwed by a system that gives them no way out.

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  1. That’s really scary and it shows exactly how screwed up this country is. Plain and simple greed. How could these dirtbags do this to a fellow human being?

    Is there no shame anymore? A $287 debt and these scum think they have the right to take someones house and gain a profit of over $120,000. What the hell is wrong with people?

    • Selfishness,Greed, power that is whats wrong with people they don’t care about other people. I know because i’ve been a victim of the corruption of this tyrannical system for years. and its not going to get better until people start, standing up and fighting to keep whats there’s. The Shit’s about to hit the fan and its gonna be messy, So don’t forget to stock up on beans,rice,and pancake mix Hope ya got water. i’m off to collect some firewood.

    • i am the one who makes you pay and kicks you out i am so stinking rich right now because of you dumb americans….oh by the way im from india…

      • Looking up some really bad stuff from our own government and you as an Indian should be ashamed of yourself. Indian people here themselves would love to set you straight.
        Keep going dumbass.
        God don’t sleep and he dont like ugly.
        I guarantee your demise due to your arrogance to him.
        God bless derik

  2. While this is sad. It is not exactly correct. People can not pay some small tax lein and then just kick the owners out the next week. The states first notify the owners of the overdue tax then if not paid by a certain date the tax debt is put up for auction. The auction winner pays the tax debt. Then the owner has the right to pay the tax debt again plus a small interest payment to the auction winner. This usually repeats again for two more years. If the taxes have not been paid by the original owner and have been paid for the three years by the auction winner the property then goes to the state and is then transfered to the person who has been paying the taxes. So while it is true that you could lose your property for a small amount it would really be your own fault. Lots of opertunity is given to pay your taxes before the property is taken.But this also just shows that we really don’t own anything. If we don’t pay we don’t get to play.This is in most everything in our lives. Try not getting your car tag or not paying income tax or any thing of that nature and see what happens. So best to hide your stuff in a hole and hope you can’t be found. Good luck to all of us!

    • Did you read the article? Because it clearly states that someone lost there house in 8 weeks over a $287 lien. And the post article outlines hundreds of people who lost it in weeks not the years that you say.

      And you are also wrong where you say they are allowed to immediatly pay the Len with a small fee. Some of these “small fees” are over 1,000 times what the original lien was and many of the people in the story didn’t even have a lien but still lost their homes.

      • Yep, it does. And if folks live in area where it’s too easy to do this, they should be petitioning to change it. I think the majority of places have laws more like Eric described, but there’s significant minority of jurisdictions where it’s easier for the gov’t and/or finance companies to screw you.

    • That my be what the law says, but that doesn’t mean that’s what actually happens. That is why it’s called govt. corruption.

    • It’s all because of the stupid voters; or maybe the lying government. Property Tax and Personal Property tax should be against the law.

  3. It’s everyone (except the home owner’s) interest. These finance companies make big donations to political campaigns. These finance companies make no money on mortgage payments if home is actually, God forbid, paid off and then are unable to donate to said campaign. And the local gov’t doesn’t have a warm and fuzzy feeling about guaranteed tax income if people aren’t paying into escrow accounts via their mortgage payments. Can you imagine how much freer we’d all be if we owned our homes outright? Property prices are artificially inflated by the mortgage industry. Don’t believe me? Look at how much the price of cars skyrocketed when financing them became common practice.

  4. The Republicans and Democrats are bought and paid for so we shouldn’t expect any help from those scumbags in Washington. I can feel the time is getting close when The Balloon goes up!

  5. this does happen especially after a natural disaster. while the homeowners are fighting the insurance companies or just trying to get back on their feet carpet baggers move in and purchase the owed land taxes. the city workers, as the one I lived in bay st. louis,ms, after katrina actually purchased or had family members purchase the owed taxes. bsl politics are owned by the ladners and necaises and such. this does happen but I would believe there is more of a time line. and to the one who freaked out b/c someone disagrees with what was written..writing it doesnt make it the truth. the world has already taught us that.

  6. the thing i love most about america is the idea that people can have control over their lives and free from the kind of corrupt servitude forced upon people living in europe by a selfish and self-interested aristocracy….but then that same template is repeated here (and it is: except the banks businesses & politicians are the new aristocracy) it makes me really sad, worried and angry. the declaration of independence, the constitution and the bill of rights are what make the usa so unique from other countries, but the worst anti-american aristocrats are taking those 3 beauties and tearing them apart. soon america will look exactly like britain did back in 1770….

  7. This almost happened to me. The IRS found that I owed $174.00 back in 2001. They never sent me any papers saying that I owed them. Just a letter stating that they were going to take my newly purchased land from me if I didn’t pay it ASAP! I had 19 days to pay it. I was on military leave for 30 days. when I returned I picked up my mail, and was shocked. I ran down and sent the payment off. Just to find out later on that in fact the IRS had taken the money from me for the back taxes I owed 7 times. And they owed me money. There moral compass is all sorts of fucked up… I was lucky enough to get it all worked out and I am currently building my off the grid homestead on my land.

  8. I’ve been working for over 42 yrs. sense I came to this great and bless country. Not once I’ve ask or take any hand out from anyone, or for that matter the Gov. I’m just very thankful that our constitution give us the citizens an opportunities to pursue the American dream. I’ve save enough now to achieve a little bit of that dream and I’m going to do just that. If any of these greedy, corrupt scumbag pieces of human trash try to destroy my dream, the only thing they’ll get is a nightmare! I don’t care who they’re & where they’er! Their is a movie call “High plain drifter” staring Clint Eastwood, that whole
    town was painted RED when he got done with it. Well, I’ve got no red paint or brush but its still going to be RED!!!!!!

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