A $15 tax bill nearly cost a family their home. With Trump, it would have

The president wants to scrap legal aid, which countless Americans rely on when they cannot afford a private attorney. If he succeeds, it would be devastating.


Martha Bergmark
April 3, 2017

Tags: Funding: Federal

Organizations mentioned/involved: Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma, Legal Services Corporation (LSC)


When Paula and Joe Frye found their home in Muskogee, Oklahoma, listed for sale, they were shocked. They certainly hadn’t listed it, so who had? It turned out county officials had recently turned up an unpaid property tax bill from years earlier and used it as a pretext to auction off the home to the highest bidder.

The tax bill in question was $15.

On the brink of losing their home over a paltry sum, the Fryes didn’t know where to turn for legal help. They couldn’t afford a private attorney. Ultimately, Legal Aid of Oklahoma was able to step in, demonstrating the county never notified the Fryes of the auction or the unpaid bill – a violation of state law that saved their home.