CLEVELAND - Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Bill Mason filed a lawsuit in Federal Court, charging home lender Freddie Mac with owing more than $1.1 million in taxes to the county.
The 10-page lawsuit alleges Freddie Mac did not pay conveyance fees on more than 2,800 homes it obtained over the past 10 years.
Mason explained conveyance fees, an excise tax, must be paid by everyone, every time a home changes ownership. The conveyance fee is $4 for every $1,000 of home value, but Mason said Freddie Mac hasn't been paying the fee.
"They should have been paying this for years," said Mason. "We can only go back 10 years, because that's as far as the statute of limitations takes us, but they should have been paying like every other homeowner transferring real estate in Cuyahoga County."
In an exclusive interview, Mason told NewsChannel5 this tax issue was brought to his attention by clerks working in the office of Cuyahoga County Executive Ed Fitzgerald.
Mason is confident his case against Freddie Mac will prevail, after a similar case was successful in Oakland County, Mich., near Detroit, in May.
Mason is hoping Freddie Mac will pay up on the back taxes sometime within the next year.
"I don't know why or how this got established many years ago, that they weren't going to pay the transfer tax," said Mason. "These lawsuits are certainly going to put an end to that."
Stay with NewsChannel5 and newsnet5.com as we continue to follow-up on this developing story.
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