• Action 9: Woman shares lesson learned after home auctioned off

    By: Don Griffin


    A woman said a court auctioned off her home even though she never missed a mortgage payment on it.

    She asked Action 9's Don Griffin to share her mistake to keep it from happening to more people.

    Fredricka Martin lived in her house for 15 years, but she's now homeless after being evicted two weeks ago.

    “They changed the locks,” Martin said. “It’s heartbreaking.”

    She was not evicted because she was late on her mortgage. What happened was that she and a business partner failed to pay off a $4,000 second mortgage on another home that went into foreclosure.

    “This is the initial debt,” Martin said.

    To collect the debt, a recovery company filed a lien against Martin. It then had the sheriff auction off the deed to her personal residence to satisfy the lien.

    “I just feel really angry -- angry that this has happened to me,” Martin said.

    The person who bought the deed and had Martin evicted has now offered to rent the house back to her or re-deed it to her for $40,000. She refused.

    Having your deed auctioned off at the courthouse to satisfy a lien can happen to anyone who fails to pay a creditor. They can take not only your house, but car and other assets.

    BBB President Tom Bartholomy said this is a wake-up call for people starting side businesses and incurring debt.

    He said to avoid putting your personal assets at risk like Martin, set up an LLC, or limited liability corporation.

    “If you don't have that clear separation between the two, this could happen,” Bartholomy said.

    Action 9 talked to the person who bought Martin’s deed and she is now willing to drop her price from $40,000 to $10,000 and re-deed the home.

    Martin said she will pay that to get back in her home, but tells others: “I want people to know that if you owe a debt, you can be put out of your house.”

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    Action 9: Woman shares lesson learned after home auctioned off