Single Mother of 12 Loses Her Home—and Maybe Her Kids—in Heartless Scam

EvictedApparently children really aren’t cheaper by the dozen, at least not for Tocca Collins. The single mom of 12 (yep, count ‘em… 12) is having a hard time keeping a roof over her family’s collective head, and she and her kids are now basically homeless after the landlords she’s been paying rent to turned out to be frauds. Scammers. Bunko artists. Now Collins needs to not only find somewhere to live post haste for obvious reasons, she’s got the added worry that state officials will take her children away if she doesn’t. 

Come to find out, the owners of the house she’s been living in aren’t even the owners, and have been pocketing the $600 she’s shelled out in monthly rent for a home they don’t even own. (Now that takes some chutzpah, no?) Meanwhile, the family has been struggling in squalor with no electricity for almost a year after a small fire knocked their service out. Like most tenants who know their rights and say enough is enough, Collins told her landlords that they weren’t getting another buck from her until that and other issues were resolved. 

She protested and stopped paying rent, her landlords protested and filed a case in court, and it could’ve been a cut and dry example of rental property negotiations—if in fact the plantiffs could’ve produced any kind of proof that they owned the home. They couldn’t. Turns out the real owner lives in New York and didn’t even know anyone was living on her property, much less charging rent and making money off of it. 

In the midst of the home ownership showdown, however, are Collins and her kids, made even more stressful because the state is circling. But let’s talk about the pink elephant on the page: the fact that she has 12 kids in the first place. A quick scroll through the comments on sites covering the story glaze over the preposterousness of the fraud and focus on the fact that she had birthed a dozen babies. How ghetto she is. How irresponsible her decision-making has been. How she’s a stereotype, a shame, and, basically, a bad representation of black womanhood.

Now I’ll be the first to say that more kids than you can count on two hands is a whole lot of baby-makin’. But last time I checked, having a Mother Hubbard gang of kids still doesn’t qualify you to be targeted for a scam. In fact, it should be even more of an insult to justice since that means that many children will be out on the street or herded into the foster care system as a result of the debacle. Le sigh. Focus on what’s really wrong, folks.  

Do you think women who have a lot of children are easier targets for scams like this?

Image via J@ck!/Flickr

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nonmember avatar Kate

Call me heartless, but yes, she had it coming. If it wasn't this scam, it would've been something else. One person, especially one who has to work, is just not equipped to handle 12 children. I'm surprised some institution, such as the kids' schools, were involved sooner. A household such as this is just not stable or healthy.

work4... work4mickey

Of course having so many children makes you more likely to be targeted for a scam. It shows you have poor judgement, which makes you an ideal target for a scam. On top of that, having so many children makes you desperate, compromising your aleady poor judgement.

Quite frankly, it astounds me that any woman would have so many children. Birth control is readily available (even if she can't get to a clinic, condoms and spermacide). She's a single mom, so unless she's a widow, she can't claim religious objections (because premarital sex is also not allowed).

And where is/are the father(s)? Can't they house some of the children until the mom can straiten this out? What about family members?

nonmember avatar kaerae

Fool me once, shame on you, fool me 13 times (12 illegitimate kids + one fraud)shame on me. The thing that scares me is someone this gullible with a house full of kids. What a ripe situation for some scary guys to gain easy access to children...

the4m... the4mutts

okay, the scammers are obviously pieces of shit, and 12 kids or not, this was in NO WAY her fault! This isn't gullible. When you rent a house, you sign a lease. You don't typically ask to see proof of who owns the house. *though I bet now, a few more people will*

Even though this wasn't her fault, I still want to know where the father(s) are, and why he/they can't help with housing these kids.

Like someone said, unless she's a widow. The state needs to step up, get this woman some welfare/housing and get whatever man/men fathered these kids for some child support.

No matter what your opinion of this lady, no child deserves to be sent to foster care, ripped away from siblings & mother, simply because the mother has a hard time making ends meet.

Shame on all of you for blaming her for being screwed over!

aReal... aRealteenMother

Anyone ever think she WANTED the 12 kids and WAS taking care of them before the scam? So judgmental.

Alleah Marie Poirier

I don't blame this woman for having so many kids in the first place, but I will say that being a single mother of that many kids definitely was a factor in the fact that she got taken in the first place.  My sister is a single mother of four and just that is enough to take up enough of her attention span that things fall not just to the back burner, but completely off the stove.  The fact that she dealt without electricity for a year says something about the all-encompassing stress of her every day life.  Think about it... unless she had a fireplace, or a generator, how was she cooking food?  How was she storing perishables?  How did those kids have light to do their homework by?  This is a sad case, but not entirely unforeseen.

the4m... the4mutts

Alleah- IMO, yes, the "squalor" *their words, not mine, as I haven't seen the place* they were living in, isn't entirely unforseen.

But how could one "forsee" some random person, finding n random empty house, and renting it out? it could have been anyone who's looking for a rental home that got scammed.

work4... work4mickey


Why should we give this woman welfare? Because she was irresponsible and had 12 kids? How could we trust her to be responsible with taxpayer money (it doesn't come from nowhere you know)?

What you are advocating is enabling this woman's irresponsible behavior. Any way it goes sucks for the kids, but it is the mother's fault.

If (that's a big if) she knows who the father(s) is/are, yeah she should sue, but that's a seperate issue from welfare.

Mrscj... Mrscjones

Why not give her welfare. She obviously was working since she was paying $600 a month. It wasn't her fault she was scammed. Some of you women are heartless and I will love to see the day when things don't go your way and see how you feel when no one wants to help you and feel like your a dumbass for allowing it to happen. This me mentality that America have is hurting us. The was a time that this woman neighbors would have started a fund for her get her and her children clothes and food offer babysitting.

nonmember avatar kaerae

@mrscjones - The $600 a month comes from her ADC (welfare) payments. No, she is NOT working and has no significant work history. I think any of us can understand an unplanned pregnancy or two, but when you make 12 BABIES and ALL of them are on assistance (read the full story) you deserve nothing except maybe free sterilization.

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