Marilyn*, age 65, lives in West Baltimore with her daughter. Her neighborhood is near to some of Baltimore’s most cherished landmarks, like the Poe house and Hollins Market. It’s also full of vacants. At one point, somebody gave Marilyn some bad advice. They told her it would be advantageous to create an LLC with herself, her daughter, and her daughter’s friend, in order to make that LLC the record owner of the house.
In 2014, her house was put up for tax sale by the City of Baltimore. Even though Marilyn only made $10,000 a year, she didn’t qualify for the Homeowners Property Tax Credit, a program designed to keep people like her out of tax sale. She didn’t qualify because the house was owned by the LLC. MVLS placed her case with volunteer attorney Sabrina Kane who worked with Marilyn to redeem the home. Once the home was saved, Sabrina agreed to accept a second case – this time a deed change. She helped Marilyn unravel the LLC and get the home into her own name again so she could qualify for tax credits.
Marilyn lives right in between two vacant houses. Just by living there, she’s contributing to the normalcy and stability of the area. Cases like these are crucial to keeping Baltimore’s neighborhoods intact, and the MVLS community has the legal know-how to help.