PICAYUNE, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi woman says county government sold her house for $236 because of a mix-up in land records — and she wants assurances that her family won’t be left homeless because of someone else’s mistake.
Tiffany Ingram of Picayune told WLOX-TV that an investment company, which thought it was buying a vacant lot, bought the house when Pearl River County sold properties that had unpaid taxes.
Ingram said her family bought a lot in Hunters Trace subdivision, but a developer built the Ingrams’ home on the lot next door. The builder sold the house and stopped paying taxes on it. The Ingrams ended up paying taxes on an imaginary house at the original address.
Pearl River County tax assessor documents show homes stood on both lots, even though one lot was empty.
“They documented that there was a house on the vacant lot, and a house, obviously, where my house is, instead of fixing it and saying that the house was in the wrong place,” Ingram said.
Delinquent tax notices were not being delivered to anybody, and the county put the land up for sale.
Ingram said she found out her house had been sold when she saw a note on her front door last week from Viking Investments.
“It gave me three days to leave,” she said.
The family recently put the home up for sale and she said confusion over the ownership has scared away potential buyers. Ingram said she has had a hard time getting answers from the county, the builder or the investment company that now owns the house.
“They’re letting me freak out and feel like I’m homeless, and I just don’t think that’s right,” she said.
WLOX spoke to the developer and the investor who bought the property. Both said they would find a way to resolve the problem without Ingram losing her house or any money. A Pearl River County official said the tax sale would be voided but transferring the land deeds would be difficult.