Imagine you wake up one day to find out that you suddenly owe nearly $100,000 on a house you’ve never owned, in a city where you’ve never resided. Should be easy enough to sort that out, right? Tell that to the Florida man who has spent the better part of two decades trying to convince creditors he didn’t buy property in Philadelphia when he was 12 years old.
The man’s saga, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer, goes back to 1998, when he learned of a $98,293 judgement against him from a bank. The money was related to a property in Northeast Philadelphia that had gone into foreclosure.
The building had apparently been purchased by someone with a similar name, but in 1972, when the alleged debtor wasn’t even a teenager, let alone trying to invest in real estate.
He was the victim of lazy “skip tracers,” who do their best to connect names and dates and locations in the hopes of tracking down the correct person, but who sometimes fail miserably by, for example, not taking into account that this man could not possibly have ever owned this property.
Through a little research on his own, the man believes he may have found the correct debtor with his same name. Unfortunately, that man died back in the 1970s.