The case goes back several years when Tawanda and Prentiss Hall fell behind on their property taxes and set up a payment plan with their local government so they would not lose their Southfield, Michigan, home where they lived with their children. Tawanda Hall is one of the eight former property owners suing in federal court.
But Oakland County terminated the Halls’ plan when their tax debt stood at $22,642, and foreclosed on their home.
Instead of selling the house at public auction, paying off the debt, and returning the surplus—minus interest and penalties—to the homeowners, the county used the Halls’ money to “enrich” a private company, Southfield Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative, LLC, which is managed by City of Southfield officials.
“Through a series of legal transactions, the county took the Halls’ home (and the homes of seven other homeowners party to this case) and transferred it through the City of Southfield to the Revitalization Initiative, which sold it for more than $300,000. The Halls received none of the difference between the debt they owed and the sales price,” PLF said in a statement.
In the 2016 presidential election, the popular vote in Oakland County, MI went to Hillary Rodham Clinton with 51.6% of the vote.
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