Published February 05, 2014
A Syracuse man had his home seized after he paid back $9,877 in city taxes over a six-month period -- but came up $936 short.
"I tried so hard. I tried so hard to make these payments," Calvin James, who found out he lost the home when he walked into City Hall on Dec. 6 with a $1,500 check, told The Syracuse Post-Standard. The property had been seized Dec. 4.
The paper reported that the city launched an aggressive foreclosure campaign in 2012. The program puts the troubled properties into the Syracuse-area land bank, which either sells or demolishes them. James, who paid $8,500 in 2009 for the property, is currently renting his old home for $500 a month, the report said.
The city told the paper it's sorry the way James' story worked out.
"This guy was given all the proper notifications and just came up short," Paul Driscoll, commissioner of neighborhood and business development, told the paper. "It's not something that I think that we’re going to request the land bank to return."
James, 61, is originally from Guyana and worked for years as a bus mechanic in Brooklyn, the report said. He cashed out his retirement and made a few bad investments in Syracuse, the report said.