Woman pays her back taxes, but county wants her home - WNEM TV 5

Woman pays her back taxes, but county wants her home

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TUSCOLA COUNTY, MI (WNEM) -

Jennifer Dupuis fell behind on her property taxes. The county tried to foreclose on her home, and she came up with the cash.

But county officials are telling her to keep her money, they want the house.

"I just didn't understand it, they got their money back," Dupuis said. "I was four years behind, it was my fault. They penalized me got me with fines and I paid all that."

Even though Dupuis missed the deadline to catch up on her past due taxes, a Tuscola County judge granted a 10-day extension, allowing her to pay the nearly $10,000 she was behind.

"Felt relieved, I felt all the pressure was off. Then I get this letter," Dupuis said.

The letter was from the Tuscola County Treasurer’s Office. It notified her that the office was appealing the judge’s decision and now wants to continue the foreclosure process, even though Dupuis has paid up.

"I raised my kids here. I want to stay here. I worked hard to get it," Dupuis said.

But why would a county pay an attorney to give back money, take possession of a home and then sell it to get back the money it already has?

According to the Treasurer’s Office:

"What the county doesn't want is to set a court precedent of allowing those in foreclosure for unpaid taxes to be able to go beyond the deadline and in this case -  the homeowner passed the deadline."

Dupuis’s attorney, Phil Ellison said there is a simple solution to what he calls an unnecessary and ridiculous problem for his client.

"The easiest way to solve this problem is to drop this appeal and let this woman keep her home because her taxes are all paid up," Ellison said.

Dupuis said she hopes the county has a heart and lets her keep her home.

"I'll do whatever you want. I just want to save my home," Dupuis said. "This is where I want to live, this is where I want to die. This is where I want to be."

As far as a legal precedent, if this case makes it to the state court of appeals and Dupuis wins, a foreclosure deadline for unpaid taxes could be deemed unconstitutional.

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