Tomeka Langford’s Detroit home was foreclosed and given to a white woman for free.
According to The Guardian, Langford lost her starter home due to missing payments and lack of notification regarding the missing payments. The 47-year-old Black woman reportedly purchased the Banglatown property for $700 in 2010 and later made roughly $6,000 or $7,000 worth of repairs to the residence that year and in 2011.
Due to the flu, her family stayed in a rental for weeks while the repairs were being made. However, they found the home in utter disarray when they returned.
“When we did get back there, somebody had broken in and stolen all our furniture. Literally cleaned the place out,” the career pharm tech with four kids and six grandkids said. “I was like, ‘What the hell! They done clinked us out!’ Langford described. “They stole the storm door! We had furniture there. We had, like, a whole house!”
In spring 2012, she discovered that her home had been listed for sale on the Wayne County tax foreclosure auction website. Records from the county show that foreclosure notifications were sent but were marked “Delivery Information Pending.” In 2015, white author Anne Elizabeth Moore revealed she was awarded the home “under the condition that I upkeep the property, pay taxes, be a good neighbor, and write” via the Write-A-House organization.”
“After a two-year period, the house was supposed to go in my name. The deed did– the document that gives me the right to own the property,” Moore wrote about receiving the home for free. “The title didn’t change hands.”
In 2019, she filed a lawsuit to secure the title as she believed Langford was untraceable. The Wayne County documents even claimed the Detroit woman made only one $689 payment out of her $5,000 remaining balance, but Langford said she made “multiple payments” through her tax refund.
She said she’s unlikely to sue but wants to be awarded another home as compensation for her loss.
“That would make me whole. Replace what you took. They got plenty houses. They can spare one or two,” Langford said. Her family has reportedly lived in Detroit since her grandparents moved there from the south years ago.