They Fell Behind on Their Property Taxes. So the Government Sold Their Homes—and Kept the Profits.

“”We agree that the government can seize the property to collect a debt,” says Christina M. Martin, a senior attorney at the Pacific Legal Foundation who has represented both women. “What it can’t do is take more than it’s owed.””

“At the core of home equity theft cases is the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. “Nor shall private property be taken for public use,” it reads, “without just compensation.” It would seem fairly straightforward.
It has not been.”

“according to the 8th Circuit, Tyler—and the many people also in her shoes—simply have no recourse when the government profits off of their poverty. “In every other debt collection context, the debt collector is only allowed to take what is owed, plus the cost of collecting the debt. But here, the government gets to tack on penalties, interests, fees, and then they get to take everything that’s left over after that?” asks Martin. “That can’t be right.””

“”We’re not asking for anything unusual here,” says Martin, who will be arguing the case in front of the high court. “We’re asking that the government not [receive] self-dealing, preferential treatment that allows them to just take a massive windfall, usually at the expense of the most vulnerable people.””

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *