How does a house worth more than $200,000 get sold for a mere $5,000? Pure deception, says the family of an 88-year-old woman who, they claim, was swindled while she lay sick in a nursing-home bed. Mabel Bobo (pictured above left with her daughter) owned her Charlotte, N.C., home for 56 years and raised three kids there. But when her loan became delinquent, the home in the Charlotte's Dilworth neighborhood fell into foreclosure and was put up for auction last June. It garnered bids as high as $48,358, but one investor snapped it up for just a tenth of that -- allegedly through shady means, WCNC-TV in Charlotte reported.
Bobo, who suffers from dementia, had to move into a nursing home nearby when she could no longer care for herself. She says that she had no idea that her home was even foreclosed on. But while she was at the nursing home, she said that she began receiving frequent "surprise visits" from a woman named Laura Shields, who represents Home Appeal, LLC.
During the visits, Bobo was allegedly asked by Shields to sign over the deed to her small home at 515 Ideal Way. Despite Bobo's lack of understanding and discomfort -- she said that she told Shields to "leave her alone" -- family members said that Bobo was essentially forced to sign the paperwork in order to get Shields to stop visiting her. "[Shields] came to someone who is almost 90 years old and shoved a piece of paper in front of them," Bobo's daughter, Patricia Rader, told WCNC. "[It happened] repeatedly until she was so tired of seeing them, she signed it to get rid of them."
When WCNC presented the signed deed and asked Bobo if it was her signature on the paper, she answered: "Yes, but I don't remember signing it." Shields' lawyers explain that Bobo was paid $5,000 for the house when she signed the deed in her bed in the nursing home, and that they have an undated check stub to prove it. But according to the family, Bobo does not have any more bank accounts and her family "never received a dime." Bobo's family is currently fighting a legal battle to get the home back, saying that Bobo wasn't in "any mental condition" to sign the house away.
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