PICAYUNE, Miss. (WLOX/Gray News) – A family says they received a notice that their home was sold for $236 in an overdue tax sale, but the sale was made in error.
Now they are hoping for a solution that will allow them to keep their Mississippi home, as well as their money after real estate agency Viking Investments purchased the property.
“Right now, I don’t own my house. Viking Investments does,” Tiffany Ingram of Picayune told WLOX. “I owned the land next to the house, not the land the house was on. .”
It appears that the builder, Benchmark Home Builders, built the house on the wrong lot. Since the builder sold the house, the company has stopped paying taxes. Ingram, however, was paying taxes on an imaginary house next door.
Documents from the Pearl River County tax assessor show that there were homes on both lots in the subdivision, although one was clearly empty.
“They documented there was a house on the vacant lot, and a house, obviously, where my house is instead of fixing it and saying the house was in the wrong place,” Ingram said.
Meanwhile, the outstanding tax notices were not being given to anyone, and the county put the land up for sale.
Ingram said he found the note on his front door from Viking Investments stating the family had three days to leave. To make matters worse, they had recently put the house up for sale and the ownership dispute led to several potential buyers pulling out.
Ingram said she wasn’t getting answers from the county, the builder or the investment company that now owns her home.
WLOX spoke to the developer and the investor who purchased the property. Both said they would find a way to fix the problem without Ingram losing his house or the money.
A Pearl River County official said the tax sale would be canceled, but land title transfer would be more difficult.
“Nobody called me and said, ‘Hey, Mrs. Ingram, this is what we’re doing to fix this. We take care of it. Do not panic. No one contacted me,” she said.
The county tax assessor provided comments to the county attorney on how an empty lot was assessed as if there was a house on the lot. The county attorney did not return a request for comment.
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