Save My Home

In January of 2013, I bought my first home. I needed to, as I was getting divorced, and needed somewhere to go. My husband had not allowed me to be on the mortgage for "our" home, and had shut me out of most of the process of buying that property, and refinancing it later, so this process was all new to me. I trusted the bank I went through, and I trusted the title company they used, to get the process correct and explain it all to me.

I shouldn't have.

Because of my credit, I couldn't get a standard mortgage; I needed some time to build up my credit to be able to qualify for one. Thus, I ended up with a three year balloon, in which my insurance and taxes could not be escrowed. Because of that, I asked for clarifications and explanations many, many times throughout the process, and at least half a dozen times during the closing itself: when will my first taxes be due that I am responsible for?

I was told that my tax bill would arrive in the spring of 2014, but that the 2013 tax bill - for the 2012 taxes - was covered by the seller, and had been included in the check that the seller had to write that day. It sounded reasonable, since I had never had anything to do with this process before... or rather, since I had never been allowed to participate in this process before, so I trusted that the title company, and the bank both were correct when they repeatedly assured me these things.

When I got my first tax bill, I called the count clerk's office and asked for clarification, again, because I'd been told that those taxes were paid. The county clerk's office assured me that, yes, I was good, and that the bill wasn't actually a bill, and that I didn't owe anything. When I got the second bill in the fall, I called again, and was told the same thing. Again.

Imagine my surprise when I received a notification today that my home had been sold because of unpaid taxes from 2012.

Despite doing everything right, despite asking the people whose JOB it is to answer me truthfully about these things, I am NOW being told that, no, I actually do owe the county clerk's office for back taxes.

I have until May 17th to come up with the money for taxes and penalties on not paying those taxes, or I will be evicted from my home. Please help.
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Tina Ravyn Newman 
Rochester, IL
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