Op-Ed: It’s Time to End Home Equity Theft in Maine


Imagine being a retiree who has owned your home for many years. You primarily live off Social Security but do odd jobs on occasion to keep up with the bills.

The COVID-19 pandemic hits. Fearing the virus, given your own vulnerability, you stop taking on those odd jobs and opt to stay indoors. Now you’re relying entirely on Social Security.

As the pandemic rages on and the government responds by spending trillions of dollarscontributing to inflation, you find it increasingly difficult to make ends meet. Groceryheat and utility bills all rose. Your budget is stretched thinner than ever before.

Now you don’t have enough money to pay your property tax bill on time. The late fees pile up. Eventually, the town seizes your property and sells it. It keeps all the proceeds despite the comparatively small debt you owed.

You can’t even take the equity you built in your old home over the years to resettle elsewhere — the town kept it. You have literally nothing left.

Sadly, laws in 13 states, including Maine, allow this situation to play out. It’s called home equity theft, and it’s time to put an end to it.

Click here to read the full version of this op-ed written by director of policy, Nick Murray.