Sunday, November 6, 2011

Elderly Owners Of Mortgage-Free Home Face Eviction After Missing $2500 Tax Payment As City Peddles Real Estate Tax Lien To 3rd Party Investor

In Worcester, Massachusetts, the Worcester Telegram & Gazette reports:

  • Jadwiga Ortiz, owner of a three-family dwelling at 71 Harrison St., has lost that property, with an assessed valued of almost $200,000. That is not so unusual these days, given the high rate of foreclosures brought on by the big banks that saddled some homebuyers with exorbitant and unconscionable mortgages.

  • Ms. Ortiz’s case is different, however. She is not indebted to any big banks. In fact, she had no mortgage on her property. She and her 65-year-old husband have occupied the three-family home since 1971, along with another on Columbia Street bought by her parents, both of whom have passed away.

  • Ms. Ortiz, however, had fiscal 2009 back taxes amounting to $2,533.58 on the Harrison Street property. This amount essentially represented her missing one of four payments that tax year and not settling water and sewer tax liens totaling $900.

  • But having a city lien these days is akin to being indebted to a predatory credit card company, now that the city is selling those liens to third parties. Those third parties are able to hike the interest rates on the debt, or, as happened in Ms. Ortiz’s case, seize your property.

  • Some will put all the blame on Ms. Ortiz, a 62-year-old crossing guard for the city, for losing her mortgage-unencumbered $200,000 property for the nonpayment of a mere $2,500 debt. They will say that the city and the individual who bought Ms. Ortiz’s lien, Gary Glusgol of Lynnfield, did nothing untoward; that everything was done by the books.


  • Registry of Deeds records show that after securing the lien, Mr. Glusgol, as is customary, filed a foreclosure notice on the property in December 2010. According to a City Hall document, a son of Ms. Ortiz on March 12, 2011, signed for a certified letter addressed to her disclosing the foreclosure proceeding.

  • On July 21, 2011, having not heard from Ms. Ortiz, the court granted Mr. Glusgol the property. Mr. Glusgol has since taken out a $75,000 mortgage on the property and, according to City Hall records, is now the assessed owner.

  • Meanwhile, Ms. Ortiz, who shares the home with five others, including her husband, a daughter, a son and two grandchildren, has been served with an eviction notice.

For more, see Home is gone after missing tax payments.

No comments: