• Homes in Barrow County community under potential seizure due to back taxes

    By: Kerry Kavanaugh


    BARROW COUNTY, Ga. - Barrow County could seize dozens of homes in one community because of back taxes. The tax assessor office issued seizure notices last week.

    "I just lost it, you know, because it's crazy. You've been paying all this time and you don't know what's going to happen," mobile home resident Anita Cepeda told Channel 2's Kerry Kavanaugh. She's now worried she could lose her home because of someone else's failure to pay up.

    According to a seizure notice taped to Cepeda's window last week, the taxes on her home haven't been paid for six years.

    "I've got all my payments made," she said.

    Cepeda entered into a rent-to-own agreement in 2009 with the property manager of the Winder Village Mobile Home Park.

    The term sheet stated she would pay a total of $7,000 for the trailer. She made a $2,000 down payment. Each month she received a statement for a $600 dollar payment. Cepeda says she was set to pay it off this month.

    According to the Barrow County Tax Assessor's office there are 38 mobile homes in this park with back taxes totaling $43,000. There are now oranges notices at every turn. On Tuesday, the park management office locked up.

    Kavanaugh made several phone calls and tracked down a woman who says she represents a group of investors who own some of the mobiles homes in the park. She says she visited Barrow County this week to work with the tax assessors. She says in some cases the people in the homes may in fact owe some money, but in other cases they might not. They won't know until they review each and every individual notice.

    According to Cepeda's notice, Winder Russel Village owns her home, not her.

    Still the county wants to collect at least half of the $1,700 in back taxes owed.

    She says even if the county cuts her a deal, it's no deal for her to pay someone else's bill.

    "It's ridiculous that you have to go through that, not knowing what you're going do or where you're going to go."

    Barrow County says they do not want to seize anyone's home and they are willing to work out payment plans in the event the residents owe the taxes.

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