Picayune family home sold for $ 236 after mixed housing lots


PICAYUNE, Miss (WLOX) – What’s in a number? Well, when it’s the difference between owning a house or an empty lot next to it, that’s a lot.

A Picayune family was notified last week that their home had been sold in an overdue tax sale for $ 236. Now the family is hoping for a solution that will allow them to keep their house, as well as their money.

“At the moment, I don’t own my house, unlike Viking Investments,” said Tiffany Ingram.

Viking Investments purchased the three-bedroom, two-bathroom home for $ 236 in a tax overdue sale. But they thought they were buying empty land.

Tiffany Ingram, left, and her mother, Ava Carver, stand outside the Hunters Trace neighborhood house in Picayune that Ingram bought in 2019.(John Fitzhugh)

“I owned the land next to the house and not the land on which the house stood,” Ingram said.

It looks like the builder Benchmark Home Builders built the house on the wrong lot. And since the builder sold the house, the company has stopped paying taxes. Ingram, however, was paying taxes on an imaginary house nearby.

Documents from the Pearl River County tax assessor show that there were homes on both lots on the Hunters Trace Subdivision, although one was clearly empty.

“They documented that there was a house on the vacant lot, and a house, obviously, where my house is,” Ingram said. “Instead of fixing it and saying the house was in the wrong place.”

During this time, the overdue tax notices were not handed over to anyone and the county put the land up for sale. This brings us to last week.

I walked up to my front door and saw a note come out and it said Viking Investments and it gave me three days to leave, ”Ingram said.

To make matters worse, the family had recently put the house up for sale and the property issue drove five potential buyers away.

Ingram is not getting responses from the county, builder, or investment firm that now owns his house.

“They let me panic and feel like I’m homeless, and I just don’t think that’s fair,” Ingram said.

WLOX News Now spoke to the developer and investor who purchased the property. The two assured us that they would find a way to fix the issue without Ingram losing his house or money.

A Pearl River County official said the tax sale will be canceled, but the transfer of title will be more difficult.

“Nobody called me and said ‘Hey, Miss Ingram, here’s what we’re doing to fix this problem. We’ll take care of it, don’t panic. No one contacted me, ”she said.

We asked the tax assessor to explain how the empty lot was assessed as if there was a house on it, we were referred to the county attorney who did not return our request for comment.

There is even more confusion about what is in the neighborhood. The address on Tiffany Ingram’s mailbox is number 88.

But when the electric company came to hook up the electricity, the worker told her that the address was listed under the number 80. Now Ingram says she has learned that her house number should be 78.

Copyright 2021 WLOX. All rights reserved.


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