An 81-year-old woman in Rhode Island was evicted shortly before Christmas from the home she had lived in for more than 40 years – because she failed to pay a $474 sewer bill. A corporation then bought her house at a tax sale for $836.39…and later resold it for $85,000. While this is an extreme case, it’s a symptom of a growing trend. More and more seniors around the country are being forced to pay large, unnecessary fees – or even losing their homes – as a result of unpaid property taxes.
Because property taxes aren’t regular monthly expenses like utility or cable bills, they’re often among the first things that seniors overlook if they begin to have some difficulty managing their own affairs. And they’re frequently missed by children and caretakers as well. Also, many older people who have recently finished paying off a mortgage aren’t used to paying their property tax bills, because for decades they were paid directly by the lender. [Read more...]