We’ve asked it before and we’ll ask it a hundred times again: Why is it that, much as some people scream and moan about the “evil doings” of the Federal government, all of the most acutely evil acts upon the population are committed by state and local governments? Welcome to Kalamazoo, Michigan, seat of Kalamazoo County.
In 2010, Deborah Calley was doing two things: recovering from a brain injury she’d gotten during a car accident, and using the settlement money from that accident to buy her dream home. And not just because she wanted it — now unable to hold down a decent-paying job, she needed a stable place to raise her two children. Calley at least thought she had the security of knowing her kids would always have a roof over their heads.
Having paid for the $164,000 home in cash, Deborah felt pretty good about her situation. But she didn’t pay the first year’s property taxes. She did, however, pay the next year’s, and the one after that. But nobody said anything to her about missing the first tax payment. At least, not until Kalamazoo County came to evict her and her family some three years later…and take the house for themselves.
But, she had to know…they send letters, right?
Oh, yes, they do. And they addressed every one of them to banks she’d never heard of, and places she didn’t live. Including a shady little foreclosure broker right there in Kalamazoo called Title Check.
Just a little “heads up, we’re taking this one. Prepare your bids.”
“I’ve never been affiliated with any of those banks, ever,” Calley said.
What makes this even more sickening, when the County came to evict her, she offered to pay the back taxes. BEGGED to pay the back tax, had always had the money to pay them. “No,” they said. “Too late. We’re taking your house, putting it up for auction and keeping the money.”
And that’s exactly what they’re doing. They put her brand-new house up for auction, and so far the highest bid has been $80,000. Every dollar will go to Kalamazoo County, to pay off…
…an $800 property tax.
A hundred-to-one return on investment in three years. Not bad…sign us up for that racket.
You can watch the interview in the video below. But you might be saying to yourself, “Well, they gave her three years, and they tried their best to get a hold of her.”
If you go to Title Check’s webstite, one of the first things you see is a summary of Act No. 123, Public Acts of 1999. It gives a very clear and detailed procedure for these kinds of foreclosures, a procedure that takes…three years. So Kalamazoo County began the tax foreclosure procedings the moment she missed her first payment. In fact, by the time Deborah had paid her 2012 taxes, they’d already supposedly.
- Sent certified mail and first-class mail notices to “parties of interest,” including the occupant. She never received a letter.
- Forfieted the property and begun charging interest on the taxes.
- and PERSONALLY INSPECTED the property, to PERSONALLY serve the occupants with notice. Which they never did, as required by law.
By the time her next taxes were due, the County had
- Filed proof of notice with the County Clerk.
- Sent more letters to banks.
- Held a court hearing to show cause.
- Been granted foreclosure rights by the judge.
Now, ALL of that…and Deborah never received a single letter. And she was certainly never served papers at the residence, where she lived the entire time. The entire affair was conducted in near silence, involving the county clerk, treasurer, a local judge, a few banks and a shady little foreclosure outfit. Their unified goal: an easy $79,800 in sweet, sweet profit.
And all they had to do was steal the home from a brain-damaged woman and her two kids.
Yeah, that sounds about like County government to us.
Calley plans on fighting the theft of her home in court, but prospects, at this point, may be fairly dim. Unless, of course, she sees this and mentions to the judge that at no point did a certain shady foreclosure broker serve her with notice as the occupant of the home, as required by law, some two years ago.
Which, you know…is supposed to keep things like this from happening.
If you’d like, feel free to contact the Kalamazoo County government here, the Board of Commissioners here or any number of other local elected officials here. And you can find the summary of Public Act 123 in the link further up. Might want to ask them at what point they showed up to serve Deborah with papers, as required by law.
You might also ask them why, of the 10 separate letters they sent out, only one was addressed to Deborah…the rest were sent to banks, to give them notice her house was coming up for sale. And the one letter that was addressed to her, she never got…it was sent immediately back to Title Check.
Please, sign all correspondences to the above “Rot in Hell.” We did.
Here’s the video with the report, courtesy of FOX 17 WITI.