ATLANTA — First, the city demolished his home. Now, they are trying to foreclose on the property to pay for the $68,000 in demolition costs.
The whole time, an Atlanta man said the paperwork had the wrong address on it.
“I’m not going to let the city take this from me. I’m going to fight them tooth and nail,” said homeowner Everett Tripodis.
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It’s just an empty lot now, but the city demolished his southwest Atlanta house. Now, Tripodis told Channel 2 consumer investigator Justin Gray that he has been served with a lawsuit from the city of Atlanta saying they intend to foreclose and take the property.
“When I saw that came from the city, I was quite excited. Maybe it was a letter of apology. Maybe it was a check. Maybe they’re going to justly compensate me. I opened it up and realized that they were suing me,” Tripodis said.
Gray first reported in March, how before tearing down the house, the city sent its notices that a city inspector found the house unfit for habitation to the wrong addresses. Certified letters were “returned to sender.”
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Even the official demolition hearing notice was for Lawton Avenue zip code 30314. But Tripodis’s home is on Lawton Street, which is in the 30310 zip code about 1.4 miles away.
Our Channel 2 Action story got the attention of the City Council.
A review of the city’s demolition, or “in rem” process, reported to the council in April found that some property owners were unaware their homes were up for demolition.
But now, even after those problems were flagged to city leaders, Tripodis got served with a lawsuit. The city is alleging that “the property should be sold at public outcry unless one or more of the interested parties tenders the full redemption amount.”
That amount with interest is now more than $68,000 in demolition costs.
“After you air the story, after everyone sees it, instead of them fixing the problem, they double down and do it again. It’s like after the slap comes the spit in my face. I’m just frustrated,” Tripodis said.
Tripodis had already filed a lawsuit against the city for the demolition. That’s still stuck in the Fulton Court system. He only has a matter of a few weeks to respond to the foreclosure suit.
Gray contacted the mayor’s office about this story. They tell us they are researching the situation.
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