Victory: Legislature Acts to End Home Equity Theft

Posted on 06/01/23


Nebraska homeowners will now be protected from losing all of the equity in their home if they fall too far behind on paying their property taxes. On June 1, state lawmakers passed LB 727 to protect homeowners from such risks.

 “We are pleased the Legislature passed this bill to end home equity theft in Nebraska and protect homeowners in our state, including older Nebraskans, from losing the equity they own in their homes,” said Suzan DeCamp, volunteer state president of AARP Nebraska. “Last week’s unanimous U.S. Supreme Court ruling made clear the government may not keep more than what someone owes when it forecloses on a home. AARP Nebraska fought for passage of LB 727 because it will end this practice once and for all in Nebraska while creating an important notification process to help Nebraskans avoid foreclosure due to tax liens.”


Nebraska is one of 11 states where property owners have been at risk of losing their entire nest egg if they neglect to pay their property tax bill. Local governments have been able to take their entire land and home as payment – no matter the size of the debt or the value of the property.

A report by the Pacific Legal Foundation revealed that governments and private investors have pocketed hundreds of millions of dollars in hard-earned home equity at the expense of often elderly and struggling owners. In Nebraska, between 2014 and 2021, about 300 homes were taken as property tax debts in the seven counties that were studied. Homeowners caught up in this process lost an average of 86% of their home equity, for a total of about $17 million.

This story is provided by AARP Nebraska. Visit the AARP Nebraska page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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