Update: IYC Wrong Address
We have new details involving the mystery of unpaid property taxes in Cleveland County. An Oklahoma widow says the county spent years mistakenly sending her late husband someone else’s mail. Elsie Dodson doesn’t know Thomas H. Dodson, yet she continues to receive his outstanding property tax bills.
Our investigation found that when Cleveland County couldn’t find the property owner, they tried a new address, which led them to the wrong Thomas Dodson, Elsie’s late husband.
Cleveland County later acknowledged the mix-up and updated their records, essentially taking care of Elsie’s problem.
That still didn’t explain the whereabouts of the property’s rightful owner, Thomas H. Dodson.
“The gentleman who lived here had passed away,” Howard Diamond said.
Diamond and his wife never met the man but are in the process of purchasing his property.
“We were buying the property on a lease purchase agreement, signed the paperwork in August of this year,” Diamond said. “Everything was going along fine until we saw your report.”
Before our story aired last week, the Diamonds hadn’t the slightest clue about the unpaid taxes.
Here’s the scary thing; in Cleveland County, when property taxes go unpaid for four consecutive years, the county can legally take control of the deed and sell off the property in a tax re-sale.
Diamond said, “Ultimately this property could be taken away from us without even our knowledge, just for back taxes.”
We’re still trying to figure out who dropped the ball in this case.
Here’s what we know:
When the original property owner, Thomas H. Dodson, passed away years ago, the financing company that took back the property after he stopped paying the property taxes.
Fortunately the Diamonds saw our report and were able to help Cleveland County fill in the blanks, which means it’s unlikely they’ll lose their property now.
“Hopefully it will be squared away. If it isn’t, we’ll call you and let you know,” Diamond said. “You folks are nice people, but if we don’t meet again, it’s nothing personal.”
Thomas H. Dodson’s family told In Your Corner their father was an honest man and was paid up on his property taxes when he passed away in 2009.