84-year-old woman forced to sell home of over 60 years
AUBURN, Ala. (WTVM/Gray News) – An 84-year-old woman in Alabama will soon be forced to pack her things and leave the house she owns and the property where she’s lived for more than 60 years.
Investors have been eying the land on Hamilton Road in Auburn where Corine Woodson has lived for decades, and soon a forced sale will happen.
The land could be worth $20 million, based on what property in the area is currently selling for.
The Woodson family purchased the 40-acre piece of land in the early 1900s. When Woodson’s late husband’s father died, the property was left to his children or their designated heirs.
Dozens of people have a stake in the property, and some want to sell. They are called “tenants in common,” meaning no one has a specific piece of property – just a percentage. When one owner wants to sell or files a partition in court, everyone must sell.
Through the years, Cleveland Brothers Incorporated has bought different family members’ interests in the property and now owns 49% of the acres.
Soon, they’ll have the chance to buy it all.
The property is currently under court-ordered appraisal, and when it’s done, the Cleveland Brothers can purchase it.
Because Woodson was living in a house that was owned by the property that was given to another family member, she’s at the whim of whatever ultimately happens with the sale.
When a partition begins, the court provides a deadline for any owner who wishes to buy the property outright to come forward, which Cleveland Brothers Inc. did.
Woodson did not, because as far as she is concerned, she already owns the property. She did file a motion for the opportunity to purchase, but the court said it was too late.
“I have even said, ‘Nobody can just put you off of your property,’ and my family members have said, ‘No they’re not going to do that,’” Woodson said.
“We were, I guess, naïve or not up to par on the law based on that timeframe, but it’s happening right before our eyes. The sad thing is there is very little we can do about it.”
When the dust settles, Woodson will have to find a new home.
Bill Cleveland of Cleveland Brothers Inc. said he will let her stay on the property in her Hamilton Road home for a year after the sale is completed.
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