Cleveland man and son on the verge of homelessness due to back taxes

Posted at 8:45 AM, Jan 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-22 17:24:30-05

Packing up his clothes, Michael Paul Jones Jr., says he only wants one thing, time.

“It was still my home, and I was still, I was trying to get back on my feet. And trying to do things. It was just a slow process,” he said.

He’s on the verge of being homeless from a common problem—back taxes.

But in Jones' case, he’s been up charged by a third-party company by the name of Woods Cove III, LLC, who used to be partners with Cuyahoga County as an entity they would sell liens to, in order to get paid for that debt, thus having them take over.

But after several complaints from homeowners saying their sales increase could inflate blight and an investigative report from News 5 on the company, the county ended their contract.

RELATED: More N.E Ohio seniors are losing homes after tax liens are sold to collection agencies

Yet two years later the problem persists, keeping residents like Jones bound to them. So what started out as a $4,000 debt, is now $13,000 debt for him, that his unable to pay, leaving him out of time, money and a home.

“I don’t understand how a company or people could do that, it’s like you don’t care. This is somebody’s life, this is my life, my son’s life,” he said.

In an interview with County Treasure Christopher Murray, he made it clear the county does not work with Woods Cove III any longer but admitted they know the company still owns some liens on homes purchased years ago.

Right now, they have no plan in place to help aid people like Jones, who currently is being evicted and has no idea where he’s going to go.