101-Year-Old Woman Loses Home Thanks to Son's Mortgage Fail

Texana HollisThere are some things I’m sure Texana Hollis expected from her golden years. I’m sure she anticipated living them out in peace, surrounded by grandbabies and doting family members. I’m sure she believed her children would look after her and help her manage her financial affairs after she got on in years so she could kind of kick back and relax.

But I’m also sure she never thought she’d be kicked out of her home. At 101 years old.

That’s the unfortunate situation that unfolded when the centenarian was ousted from her Detroit residence — where she’s lived for the past 58 years — after her 65-year-old son, Warren, failed to pay up on the reverse mortgage he convinced her to take out on the place. Court officers physically removed Ms. Hollis from the house on Monday, leaving her sitting on the sidewalk in her wheelchair as they removed her belongings from the home.

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That’s a sad, heartbreaking scene, even as a mental picture.

It’s also ridiculously foolish financial management on her son’s part. The reverse mortgage levied $80,000 in fees and taxes against his mother’s house after they received a mere — wait for it — $32,000 for the home back in 2002. At first blush, he could’ve been a victim himself. Predatory lending in low-income, underserved areas has made reverse mortgages an option for poor folks who don’t have many other ways to borrow money.

But Mr. Hollis lost my empathy because the nut ignored eviction notices and other communications about the past due balance. And he purposefully didn’t keep his mama in the loop about what was going on. “I kept it from her because I didn't want to worry her,” he told local media. “I was just so sure it wasn't going to happen.” Uhhh yeah. The powers that be tend to be pretty serious about getting their money by any means necessary. I guess he had to learn that lesson the hard way, and late in life at that.

So it came as a complete and total shock to the elderly woman when she was carted from the house she once shared with her husband and the only home she’s known for almost six decades. She even had to be hospitalized for disorientation and anxiety the night of the ordeal. Major fail on her son’s part. Major fail.

But there’s good news, no thanks to Warren. The benevolent folks at HUD, perhaps in a swift cleanup after this story made national headlines, will pay the back taxes that caused all this brouhaha in the first place, remove the padlocks, and allow Ms. Hollis to move back into her home. Good for her. I just hope she finds somebody else to put in charge of her accounts payable ‘cause her son is not the one.

Should elderly people have their debts forgiven if it means they’ll become homeless or destitute?


Image via WXYZ.com

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