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Cherokee County to join lawsuit against federal government - KOAM TV 7

Cherokee County to join lawsuit against federal government agencies

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Cherokee County commissioners have approved the county's entry into a lawsuit against the federal government.  The county is seeking compensation for unpaid mortgage taxes on foreclosed homes from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

"If a mortgage was recorded at a $100,000, $260 would have been collected in tax by the local government, which the federal government has not been paying when it does these foreclosures," says Kevin Cure, legal counsel for Cherokee County.

Due to statutes of limitations the suit would only cover foreclosed homes in the county over the past five years.

Commissioner Richard Hilderbrand says counselor Cure presented the suit to the commission on Monday, saying an Arkansas City firm wishes to represent the county at no immediate cost.

"We weighed the cost versus the benefit," says Hilderbrand.  "It's not going to be any cost, the only thing is if there is a class action lawsuit that is favorable, then the attorney's would get 35%."

According to Cure the next step is to go through the foreclosed homes in the county in the past five years, a process which should let the county know how much they might be owed by the federal government.

"It very well could be thousands, maybe tens of thousands, we just don't know yet until that review is done," says Cure.

According to Cure the county is still in it's inception phase of the project and there is still much to be done before action is initiated.  He says it could still be years until a final decision is made.

The commissioners passed the decision unanimously and say if money is eventually awarded in the case, it would be put into the county's budget.

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