Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Elderly Texas Homeowner Says Computer Glitch Keeps Her From Getting Real Estate Tax Deferral Under State's Homestead Laws, Leaving Her At Risk Of Foreclosure Over Unpaid Tax Assessments

In San Antonio, Texas, KSAT-TV Channel 12 reports:
  • A San Antonio woman says she is caught in a massive knot of government red tape, and it could cost her home.

    Margarita Balcazar, 67, is suing the Bexar County Appraisal District and had her first court appearance [last week].

    Balcazar’s lawyer argued a battle of technicalities keeps the widow from a tax deferral, which is needed to prevent foreclosure on her property.

    Balcazar lives in a home in the 1000 block of Clark Avenue and does not have a birth certificate because she says she was born to a midwife in Laredo. Because of this, she says she can't get a state identification card.

    To receive a tax deferral, the appraisal district said Balcazar must show the house is her main home and that she is over the age of 65. She has federal identification to prove it.

    However, the electronic county forms require a state-issued form of identification.

    "The computer system does not allow them to check the box for the tax deferral, unless the boxes for the homestead and the over 65 are checked, and those can not be checked," said Balcazar’s attorney Carla Sanchez-Adams. “So part of it, it seemed like it was more of a glitch in the computer system.”

    The attorney representing the appraisal district said Balcazar has a pending appeal that may get her what she wants anyway and the suit is unnecessary at this point.

    A KSAT news crew visited Balcazar’s home, but she was not there at the time.

    A group of men who claim to be her sons told KSAT Balcazar lives in a second house on the same lot. The men said she owns both homes, which were left to her after her husband passed away.

    Sanchez-Adams said the results of the appeal should come down in the next couple of months.

    "At the end of the day, I think we all agree she should stay in her home," said Sanchez-Adams.
Source: Woman suing Bexar County in effort to keep home (Woman suing Bexar County Appraisal District to get tax deferral).

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