Excite News - Report: Some lose homes over as little as $400
WASHINGTON (AP) - 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Outdated state laws allow big banks and other investors to reap windfall profits by buying the houses for a pittance and reselling them, the National Consumer Law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.
For those of us who know about condo/hoa foreclosure practices, this sort of thing is old news. The new part is that now tax farmers are doing it.