A 84-year-old man in Tehachapi was shocked to learn that his house was sold because no taxes were paid | News

Even after his wife Barbara died in 2016 at the age of 69, James Gillen was hoping to spend the rest of his days at the Angel Street home he bought in 1998 and remodeled in 2009.

The couple paid for the renovation with funds from a home mortgage conversion certificate, a type of reverse mortgage.

Gillen, 84, said he lost his lifelong enthusiasm when his wife died, but believed that all his expenses (including mortgages) were set for automatic payments. I thought the business was controlled.

So he was shocked earlier this year when Miramar International Realty realtor Roxanne McCoche knocked on his door and informed him that his home was for sale at auction.

“His house was showing delinquency for just over $ 8,000 (in tax). I visited him, but he didn’t understand or knew that his house was facing foreclosure. got it.”

At that time, in early February, McCosh was unaware of the situation and believed that paying taxes could save Gillen’s house.

“We collected GoFundMe pages and raised the amount of taxes and fees to about $ 9,500,” she said. With 79 donors donating amounts ranging from $ 5 to $ 2,000, McCosh was encouraged by her efforts to solve Gillen’s problem.

Sadly, it wasn’t. Eventually, she learned that Gillen’s house was sold at auction on January 5th. And since then, real estate investment companies that bought real estate for $ 230,000 at auction have begun the process of kicking out the old man. ..


“She was an angel,” Gillen says of McCosh.

It was difficult for him to notice that he had been unaware of the legal mechanisms that worked against his interests since sometime in 2020.

Jillen told McCosh that he had not been notified of the procedure leading to the January 5 auction.

When she received a notice that the property tax was not paid by the mortgage company by helping him submit the request through the Consumer Finance Protection Agency, the company paid the tax and he and his In 2009, I learned that my wife had begun the foreclosure procedure according to the agreement she signed in.

The mortgage company has created a number of mailing records addressed to Gillen’s home address. I also created a photo that looks like it shows a document attached to the front door. However, the document is unreadable in the photo, and Gillen does not trust the photo. You will notice the door document he uses regularly and he will believe that the image is incorrect.

He had not seen the notice of the sale of the trustee posted in Tehachapi News in November 2021.

However, McCosh learned that the post office had stopped mail delivery to Mr. Jillen’s home because the mailbox was full of mail that he did not collect. Reasons to get junk mail out of the box.

His phone is also disconnected and he is not using a computer.

In addition to helping Gillen get a PO Box and renew his driver’s license, McCosh automatically puts pension checks into his bank account, including uncased checks that he didn’t receive due to lack of mail delivery. I was able to deposit it at.

Sadly, she said that if Gillen noticed that her taxes weren’t paid, he could pay them. He wasn’t wealthy, but thought the bank had enough money and his taxes were paid automatically.


Jillen doesn’t know where to live if she’s ousted, so she wants to rent a house from her current or future owner, if possible.

McCosh contacted the home buyer and said he intends to “turn over” the home. Gillen was able to buy a house, but that wasn’t an option for him, McCosh said.

She pointed out concerns that the foreclosure process could proceed even if no one could personally contact Gillen and show that he was aware of the situation.

A complaint was filed with the Kern County District Attorney’s Office. We are asking the buyer to investigate the behavior of the mortgage company, not the buyer.

“He was equipment around Tehachapi for 23 years. He served in the Air Force and worked in the aerospace industry for over 30 years. Some of his greatest achievements were in the first 13 lunar shots. He was part of it. He developed an electric motor to drive the wheels of a lunar rover and was responsible for the development of a cooling system for the space station. After that, he was a military and military and with more than 200 employees in offshore facilities. I was in charge of manufacturing commercial aircraft parts. “

The idea that a person who lived such a productive life could put himself in Gillen’s situation at his age was shocking to McCosh and couldn’t do anything to restore his home. Even she wants his story to help others.

Proposed law

“Jim had enough money to cover his bill, but the mortgage company didn’t make personal contact and didn’t check his bank to confirm the money.” Said McCosh. Jillen tried to contact the mortgage company on his behalf, but they received different answers from different representatives.

“They only have a copy of the shipment, but there is no confirmation of receipt. Instead of withdrawing funds from his bank account, they chose to pay and seize property taxes.”

In 2015, six years after Gillen and his wife signed the mortgage documents, the law was changed to secure funds for tax and insurance payments and pay by companies with reverse mortgages. It came to be.

“These new rules were expected to protect consumers and reduce borrowers who could default from default, but to protect consumers who already have reverse mortgages. I didn’t do anything. “

She confirms that the mortgage company has personal contact with an individual or supporter, and instead of foreclosure, confirms and signs a bank account or automatic withdrawal funds with a family of at least 3-5 people or I want federal law to record a friend’s reference A mortgage contract for overdue notification if an individual is ill or incapacitated.

The law can be called “Gillen’s Law,” and he recommends contacting Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy to introduce such a bill. She is in contact with McCarthy’s staff in Washington and she said she has hope. He will be interested in the matter.

McCosh selects the concern “Elderly” and enters “Elderly / Gillen’s Law Foreclosure” in the subject line, telling the House of Representatives to protect vulnerable people and to put people in Gillen’s situation in the future. We propose to ask you to introduce a bill to prevent it.

Claudia Elliott is a freelance journalist and former editor of Tehachapi News. She lives in Tehachapi and can be contacted by her email:


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