Saturday, November 20, 2010

Title Mix-Up Leads To Home Sale Out From Under Now-Homeless Kansas City Senior

In Kansas City, Missouri, WDAF-TV Channel 4 reports:
  • An elderly woman was evicted [last month] from the house she's lived in for more than 10 years on Kansas City's east side, but not because she was behind on her mortgage or because of foreclosure.

  • Norma Rozzelle could only watch and cry as sheriff's deputies removed her belongings from her home. The 70-something-year-old woman lived in the home for more than 10 years and claims to be the rightful owner.

  • "The house has been paid for since 1989," Rozzelle said. "It belonged to Elbertdine Madison, and she deeded everything over to me." But when Rozzelle's friend and roommate Elbertdine Madison passed away in 2005, Rozzelle's attorney said the transfer of the deed was never recorded properly. As a result, relatives of Madison staked a claim to the house and a long protracted probate battle over her estate ensued.

  • A court eventually determined Madison's relatives to be the rightful owners, and unbeknownst to Rozzelle, they sold the house on the courthouse steps for a little more than $13,000. "I would describe this situation as someone has taken total advantage of this mother," said Spencer Lamar Booker. "There's complex problems here of paperwork miscommunications. The legal administrator is not contacting her properly. She has something that was put up on her doorstep that says landlord tenant. She clearly has the warranty deed to this house."

  • The new owner, Realty AQ, offered to sell the home to Rozzelle for $60,000. Rozzelle refused, still believing she is the rightful owner. Now she doesn't know where she'll live. The Bethel AME Church is collecting Rozzelle's belongings and will put her up until she can find someplace else to live. She has vowed to fight on, saying she does have a warranty deed showing she's the legal owner of the house.

Source: Property Deed Mix Up Evicts Elderly Woman from Home of 10 Years.