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Sonya Capri Ramos says her Salt Lake City home was sold out from under her in 1996 to pay a collections agency seeking payment for dental work performed on one of Ramos's daughters. And despite the fact that she had made three years of payments on a $51,000 mortgage, the title changed hands for just $1,550 at a sheriff's auction.
But the story doesn't end there: Ramos, 41, said she didn't find out that her home no longer belonged to her until two years after the sale. To date, she hasn't moved out.
A collections agency, North American Recovery, eventually sued her for payment of the bill, which by 1996 had escalated to more than $950, a result, Ramos said, of legal fees and other costs associated with collecting payment on the original bill.
But Ramos said she was never notified of the lawsuit and therefore didn't contest it.
With no legal defense, a judge ruled in favor of North American Recovery and ordered the local sheriff's department to sell off Ramos's property to satisfy the debt.