Former Marine Sgt. Bennie Coleman left with nothing thanks to a predatory government system
Would you like to know how corrupt our government system is? Consider the case of Bennie Coleman, widower, retired Marine Sergeant, who bought his home for cash decades ago but lost it over a $134 property tax bill.
Bennie is 76 years old and he was taken out of his home by armed US marshalls. He sat outside in a lawn chair in DC and watched everything he owned, including his service medals and the photos of his late wife being hauled to the curb.
His house had been sold at auction by predators who have more power than mortgage brokers.
DC has a corrupt program which allows private investors to recover unpaid taxes. DC once placed liens on properties with unpaid taxes and then sold them at auction to investors who made money on other peoples’ misfortune. It didn’t matter that these homes were paid for, free-and-clear. That was bad enough. It’s so much worse now. They don’t even act as middle men any longer.
The program has now become a predatory scheme in which investors grab liens throughout the district, charge thousands in legal fees – $450 an hour – and other costs that far exceeds the original tax bills.
Many are forced into paying these loan shark-style costs or lose their homes. Others like Bennie, who has dementia, have no options.
The district no longer allows liens under $1,000 but Bennie still doesn’t have his home.
They have stolen 200 homes and plan to steal another 1200. They steal stores, parking lots, vacant land but it’s legalized theft.
Bennie lost his home because the predators ran up his costs to 37 times the cost of the debt and he was not even allowed the equity on his $197,000 home, because, unlike mortgage companies, they stripped him of his equity. They take everything.
When the government complains about predatory mortgage companies, they aren’t telling you about predators who are far worse whom they have enabled and allowed to continue.
In irony of ironies, the nation’s capitol has one of the most corrupt tax lien systems in the nation.
The tax lien industry mercilessly takes homes from the handicapped, elderly, sick and dying. One man had his home taken over $1025 while he was dying in hospice. Another lost her home over $44.79 while she was in a nursing home.
We pay these government employees to handle these tax situations. They should either supervise or do it themselves, using sound reasoning and no one should be profiting from it beyond a small fee.
They are incompetent, lazy, it’s the result of cronyism or a combination of the three. It is corruption, make no mistake about that.
Read the full story at The Washington Post