An elderly woman on the verge of losing her South Florida home received the best Mother's Day gift after a Good Samaritan came to her rescue.
Thousands of unpaid property taxes almost caused Thelma Turner to lose the house she has called home all her life. "We grew up in that house," said Turner, "going to school, senior high school, all the neighbors know us and stuff."
An unexpected gift gave Turner a second chance. "Now we're going to pay your house off," said foreclosure specialist Luis Valdeon.
Turner had gone to foreclosure specialist Luis Valdeon for help. Turner could not come up with the money she owed to save her home.
Valdeon paid off the back taxes of more than $4,000. Valdeon called it a late Mother's Day gift and a reverse birthday gift for him. "For me, to give her my birthday is the same as they give it to me. It's the same thing," said Valdeon.
Turner's home was built in the 1930s and purchased by her grandmother in 1961. The home's mortgage was paid in full. Valdeon said no one should lose their home over unpaid taxes.
"You imagine losing a free and clear house? The system really doesn't work," he said. "If you've been working in this country for 65 years, don't you think that people can not afford... can't they give them like a break?"
Turner said she did not receive a tax bill since 2009 because it was being sent to the wrong address. She found out about the tax debt through a notice that her home would be auctioned. "Never, never, never, as long as I live and God is my witness, I will be in this situation again." she said.
Turner hopes the house will remain in the family and plans on passing it on to her son Brandon.