Who owns my home, the city or the bank? | News

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Who owns my home, the city or the bank?
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JACKSONVILLE, FL -- In 2008 a storm hit Eartha Jaudon's Northwest Jacksonville neighborhood and caused considerable damage to her modest home.

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"The roof was torn up and it was leaking," she said.

Jaudon turned to the City of Jacksonville neighborhood housing services for help. She needed repairs and did have the ability to pay for the work.

"They told me as long as I stay here, I don't have to pay them anything," she said.

Jaudon went through screening process and was approved for a home improvement project. She signed the agreement with the city based on that one promise, as long as she lived in her home she does not have to repay the money.

"That was my understanding," said Jaudon.

The city hired contractor made a number of repairs from replacing the roof, to upgrading the electrical, remodeling the kitchen, to fixing the bathrooms. The total cost to taxpayers was $48,016.00.

Six years later her home needs more work and Jaudon said she applied for a loan and discovered the city has a lien against her home.

"I did not know there was a lien on my house," she said.

It meant she couldn't get the money to do the plumbing and the other work around the house. But it also became a reason for concern. The 74-year old grandmother, who lives on a Social Security check, wants to know if the city owns her home and if she will now have to begin paying the city like she does her mortgage company.

"I am puzzled," she said, "I don't know what it means."

We did some checking and the court records show the lien; it was filed in 2009 and the mortgage and security document is there to protect taxpayers investment.

She still owns her home, but she has to live in it 15 years, or it must remain in her family for that period to satisfy the city's mortgage lien. No payment is required, however should the ownership change the mortgage becomes due and payable in full.

"I am not going anywhere," she said.

If she plans to refinance or get a loan the City of Jacksonville can either be paid off in full or a request to subordinate can occur by the refinancing lender. The process can take 6-7 weeks.


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