WSB-TV News, ATLANTA
Channel 2 investigative reporter Erica Byfield has uncovered an alarming trend sweeping through the metro area that is leaving homeowners homeless.
So-called “super liens” change the process after the tax sale of a home, allowing a lien-holder to ask a judge for foreclosure in just weeks, instead of months. And it is completely legal.
“We didn’t have time to do anything,” Jessica Davis Sims told Byfield.
Sims said her family inheritance was a brick home in Cherokee County. After her father passed away, the property was left to Sims, her brother and an uncle who lived in the home.
Her grandparents built and paid off the Canton home decades ago.
Sims said she did not know her uncle was $14,000 behind on tax payments.
“We had two days and it was being auctioned off on the courthouse steps,” Davis said.
When a tax deed is typically auctioned at tax sale, there are a number of rules crafted to help protect homeowners.
Owners have one year to attempt to redeem the property. If the owner cannot redeem and loses the property, they can receive what is called excess funds— money left from the auction after the debt with the tax commissioner is satisfied.
Read more of this story on the WSB-TV website