U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) has announced that $10,118,750 in Hardest Hit Funds (HHF) have been awarded to Cuyahoga County to demolish vacant and abandoned properties.
CLEVELAND - Ronald Hasinski owns his Cleveland home free and clear, but confusion over a delinquent property tax bill has sent his home into foreclosure, and to a Feb. 11 sheriff's sale.
Hasinski told NewsChannel5 he arranged a payment plan with the Cuyahoga County Treasure's Office to make up for the $5,800 he owes in back property taxes.
But Hasinski said everything went wrong when he was just one day late on one of the $152 payments. A notice from the treasure's office said he would be losing his home.
The notice sent to Hasinski included a bill, but did not include how much he was to pay to get current with his payments.
"I'm just devastated. I'd cry but the tears haven't sunk in yet," said Hasinski. "I've put a lot of money into this house and now I'm told it's being sold to the highest bidder."
Hansinki claims he contacted the treasure's office several times, but said he couldn't get any answers about the confusing tax bill, or how he could save his home.
Hansinski called on the NewsChannel5 Troubleshooter Unit and Cleveland Councilwoman Dona Brady.
Brady contacted the treasure's office about Hansinki's case, promising it would conduct a full investigation within the next 24 hours.
"Why would he receive a bill that says don't pay anything and you're going into foreclosure? It doesn't make any sense," said Brady. "We do not want another foreclosed home but, more importantly, we don't want Mr. Hasinski out on the streets."
Brady said the treasurer was unaware of the case.
"He's trying to see if there is a way within the law that will allow him to help," said Brady. "Homeowners need to keep in mind that if they are even a day late in paying back property taxes, they could be at risk to lose their home."
NewsChannel5 made two calls to the treasure's office, but is still waiting for a reply.
NewsChannel5 and newsnet5.com will keep you updated on this developing story.
Information on keeping current with delinquent property taxes can be found on the treasurer's website.
Meanwhile, Hansinki had a one final warning for all homeowners.
"Please don't even miss a payment, no matter what's happening in your life," stressed Hasinski. "I always try to get the payment in three to four days ahead of time."
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