SCOTUS agrees to hear Home Equity Theft case

So imagine you own your home free and clear. Then you fall on hard times and dont pay your property taxes. In 12 states, the state govt can sell your property at auction to get their taxes. So far that sounds kind of reasonable. It’s what happens after the sale that is unconscionable. In these 12 states, if you dont pay the taxes owed, they declare the property “Abandoned”. As a result, not only do they get their taxes owed, but they get to keep everything the property brought at auction! All of it.

Geraldine Tyler owned a modest 1br condo. She was harassed near her home so she moved to an apartment. The apartment strained her budget and she fell behind on her tax bill. She owed 2300 in taxes, plus 12k in penalties, interest and costs. The condo was valued at 93k. They sold it at auction for 40k. The municipality kept the whole 40k saying she abandoned the property. She sued and lost. She appealed to the 8th Circuit and lost there as well.

Same type of case was heard in the 6th Circuit where they agreed with the property owner. Since their is a split in the circuits, the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case. This is just as wrong as localities and their Civil Asset Forfeiture laws. This really needs to stop.


What exactly is the case about?

What are the 12 states?

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I apologize to the board. I was typing this whole thing out and hit the wrong key and what was there was inadvertently posted. So I edited the post and was adding more info when my wife called me to dinner. Guess where my priorities were.

Anyways, I hope we can all agree that this is wrong and should be changed.

Thanks for the assist while I was being detained in the dining room.

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Link to Scotusblog record in this case.

Link to Supreme Court docket in 22-166, Tyler v Hennepin County, Minnesota.

Of course, this should be decided in favor of the Petitioner, Geraldine Tyler, all the way. The county should have remitted to her any equity beyond the actual tax amount owed. There is zero justification for the confiscation of her entire equity.

Since the thread was addressed to me and i am a home owner i have to respond - the law must be struck down.


I had to read it twice before I caught it!

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If a bank repossesses your home and it auctions for more than you owe, you get the difference back in cash

Same deal in 38 states if the taxman repossesses your home.

But in 12 states it is not so.

Geraldine owed $14,300 she could not pay.
The state (county probably) auctioned her home, got $40,000 for it, and kept the difference. It is definitely unethical and the way they do it is constitutionally questionable.

Government theft, ie mafia government. In many states you can owe 2k in taxes and the state can auction your 250k house and keep the difference, Basically sanctioned theft.


The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in this case on Wednesday and in fact this was the final argued case of the term.

It appears that the Petitioner has broad support from both the left and right side of court listening to the argument.

Hope she lives long enough to get her money back in person, she being 94 years of age. If not, it would go to her estate. Would at least be nice for her to hear that she won before she dies.

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Is there a way I can listen to the proceeding?

I saw Neal Kaytal on Twitter bragging about arguing his 50th case in front of SCOTUS - and it was this one, arguing for the Respondent.

I couldn’t help but think maybe don’t advertise this one.

Never mind…I found it

Ok, I was writing out another OP and didn’t see your post right away. :smile:

Maybe we need to stop treating property as a landlord/tenant relationship with the government.

If they can take it and sell it, you never really owned it.


That’s the only kind of ownership that’s ever existed, so you really do own it.


Are you sure about that?

I don’t understand why the owner didn’t sell it herself and use the proceeds to pay off the tax bill. Had she sold it, not only would she have been able to keep the remainder of the proceeds, but she would have likely sold it for way more than 40K.

This is not to say I agree with the government keeping the equity. Not at all.

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