Woman says she bought half a house, title company responds

Credit: Zach Stotland/ KTVB

Woman says she bought half a house, title company responds

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by Stephanie Zepelin & KTVB

Bio | Email | Follow: @ktvbstephanie

KTVB.COM

Posted on October 16, 2013 at 11:16 PM

Updated Monday, Oct 21 at 12:45 PM

NAMPA -- A Treasure Valley woman bought a home in Nampa, only to find out later that she only owns half of it. She owns the front half of the property, while someone else owns the back half.

At age 76, Betty Galloway was looking to settle down in Nampa. She is retired and lives on Social Security. The widow and mother of five sold her home in Georgia, planning to use the money to buy a home here.

"I'd been looking around at homes that I could afford that I could pay outright for," Galloway said.

In May, Galloway found 127 High Street in Nampa. It was repossessed in March of 2011, and then owned by Fannie Mae.

"My realtor, bless her heart, she sent the papers in the night of the 14th and Fannie Mae accepted them the morning of the 15th, and so then we closed at Pioneer Title," said Galloway.

As far as she knew, the house was hers. Then, Kathy Meyers showed up at the front door.

"And said that she owned the patio and the backyard. And I just thought, 'well whatever,'" said Galloway. "So then I called her. I didn't know for sure if it was true or not."

A picture plat office shows it, the house is divided in two halves right down the middle. It's not a duplex or a house that is meant for two separate residents.
          
Meyers, who owns the back half of the property, works in mortgage lending and said she has never seen anything like this. The situation is complicated. Meyers told KTVB the issues came up when her mother first bought the house and took out a loan on one half. She defaulted on a loan, and the house ended up being repossessed by Fannie Mae.
           
"I bought it thinking the whole house because that's what was on the brochure. You know, the realtor's brochure," Galloway said.

Now, Galloway has to stay with her son in Boise.

Galloway's real estate agents at Gold Star Realty told us they did not know about the issues with the divided dwelling either.
           
"They (the realtors) had called Pioneer Title and Pioneer Title said they take no responsibility for it," Galloway said.

We called Pioneer Title too, and Galloway's title officer, said he had no comment and he referred us to Jesse Hamilton, the Senior Vice President & General Counsel. We have spoken to Hamilton since the story aired. On Friday, he told us by phone that despite several attempts to reach Galloway, the company has not spoken with her.

On Friday, Pioneer did release the following statement on their website:

"At Pioneer Title, we strive to provide the best service possible and since learning of Betty Galloway’s situation through the media on Wednesday evening, we have been working diligently with Fannie Mae for a proper remedy to Betty’s issue. At this point, we’ve notified Betty and will continue to reach out to her to further the conversations. We look forward to meeting with Betty."

Galloway believes the problem lies with the people who gave her a title on the house.

"I think it was probably the title company because they knew it, see they only gave me a title to half the house they didn't give me a title to the whole house," she said.

Galloway said she is not angry with anyone involved---she just wants to move in, or get her money back.

"I'm just praying and waiting to see what happens," she said.

We talked with Brent King, the Fannie Mae representative who handled this case, and said he had no comment. Kathy Meyers and Betty Galloway both said King knew there were issues with the title on the house.
  
Right now, Meyers is trying to have the house assessed so she can sell the second half of it to Betty.

On Monday, KTVB talk with Pioneer Title about this story. They tell us they have been in contact with Galloway and are working on setting up a time to meet with her and resolve the issue.

Pioneer says Fannie Mae is also now aware of the situation and is working to figure out how to move forward.

KTVB will continue to follow this story and will have updates an any developments.

 

 

 

 

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