Widow Who Tries to Sell Home of 40 Years Finds Out She Doesn't Own It (VIDEO)

Could your home be sold out from underneath you while you still live there and you had no idea about it? Apparently so. That's what happened to 73-year-old widow Hertha Handler who decided to sell the Long Island home she had lived in for 40 years -- only to discover she no longer owned it.

Advertisement

Handler had apparently gone into arrears on her property taxes to the tune of $200,000 -- but had no idea that there were several liens on her property and that one of them had been sold to a man, who then took ownership of the house. The lien cost him only $3,300. Not a bad deal for a property valued at $1.2 million.

Handler had raised three sons in the house and her husband had died years ago. She apparently didn't tell her sons about the taxes issue because she has a "difficult time asking for help."

But not asking for help and just ignoring the problem wasn't the way to go either. Handler had no idea that her home could be bought and sold without her knowledge.

Lesson here? For home owners, taxes must be paid. If you can't pay them, look into a reverse mortgage (a good idea for paid-off properties, as Handler's was) or taking out a loan with the home as collateral. Most of all, talk to people and ask for help. Her sons may have been able to figure out a solution -- or even loan her money.

Luckily, the new owner of the home, real estate investor Albert Kalimian, who said he had no idea the home belonged to an elderly widow, seems to have a heart. The two of them -- through their respective attorneys -- are working out a deal to keep mom in her house.

Did you realize something like this could happen to you?

 

Image via NBC New York

Read More >