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Halifax County Farm Auctioned in Spite of Courthouse Protest

Posted December 5, 2007
Updated December 6, 2007

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— It was an emotional day at the Halifax County courthouse. Despite protest from a family, more than 145 acres of land were sold Wednesday at a foreclosure auction.

Roland Hardy, who died earlier this year, had owned the land.

"Why are we here selling my father's property?” daughter Virginia Dade asked during Wednesday's foreclosure auction.

Hardy's daughter said the bank had no right to sell the land or the home where her mother still lived.

“We're here to prove that this an illegal foreclosure,” Dade said.

East Carolina Farm Credit claimed the Hardy's borrowed nearly $48,000 in 1996 for a tobacco buyout loan, then defaulted. The Halifax County court agreed and ordered a foreclosure to satisfy the debt.

“We want justification for all the loans that they are assessing my father has,” Dade said.

The Dade family said they have paperwork to prove the loan was paid off over eight years ago. They, along with a representative from the National Black Farmer's Association, asked for more time to work out the problem with the bank.

“We are here to protest this sale. This is an unlawful and horrible thing to do to a group of people,” John Boyd, with the National Black Farmer's Association, said.

Despite the courthouse protest, the auction went forward and the Hardy property was sold.

“We are going to protest this. We are going to the office of the inspector general,” Dade said.

The court can continue to accept higher bids for the farm over the next 10 days. If no one else bids higher, the person that bought the property Wednesday will be the new owner. 

Dade said her family is not giving up on trying to keep the farm.


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  • Travised Dec 6, 2007

    With a contest sizable like this; you'd think they would place an injunction on the sale to halt the sale until they could clarify the papers. Something or somebody wants this land it seems.

    Halting the sale for 2 weeks would do nothing but clarify the state of things unless there is something else in the picture (close to end of year for one) that is being rushed.

  • rogers922 Dec 5, 2007

    Do you have every cancelled check that you have ever paid to your mortgage company?

    Actually, I do! But it would be interesting to see what the credit report shows as if you default on a loan the bank usually has that on your credit report in a heartbeat. It seems that if the default was that long ago a lien would have been put on the home by the lender and that would be easily found at the courthouse. That lien can last 10 years...and if the lien holder decides to renew it, it can go again for another 10 years - 20 years total. So the question is, what this sloppy bookkeeping by the lender? Is this on the credit report? Is this recorded at the courthouse in the county where the land is located?

  • Ckimoo Dec 5, 2007

    It might be difficult to prove that something was paid off. Do you have every cancelled check that you have ever paid to your mortgage company.
    If the debt was only $48,000 they should not have forclosed. 145 acres has got to be worth a lot more than that. Sounds like some back room double dealing going on there to dislodge this land from a homeowner.

    The only thing worth owning is land and it shouldn't be so easy for them to take it. I find it hard to believe that none of the family members could come up with $48K to save it.

    Something's very fishy here.

  • Deer Hunter Dec 5, 2007

    I Lived about a mile from Mr. Hardy and he was a fine outstanding individual. All farmers have bad years and most borrow money. My question is why the bank took so long to forclose on the farm. But then I know why -it is in an estate, alot easier to file a claim. Get your papers together, get a lawyer and go get it back, Rowland would want you to.

  • steve c Dec 5, 2007

    too many subdivisions-ugly ugly ugly!

  • steve c Dec 5, 2007

    hope the family can prove their case and reattain their property.

  • Winston Dec 5, 2007

    In the WRONG and protesting. Stupid is forever!

  • gunnarbiker Dec 5, 2007

    I just hope that another beautiful piece of farmland doesn't go the way of another disgusting subdivision, townhomes or shopping center. I mean, let's cram 400 lots on 140 acres!

    Let farmland be farmland! I hope if it does sell, that some disgusting developer doesn't get a hold of it!

  • dhamma Dec 5, 2007

    Obviously they do not have proof the loan was paid otherwise they would have logically presented this prior to things going this far. Banks do screw up and I have been on the bad end of it several times, but documentation saved the day.

  • 3potato4 Dec 5, 2007

    At first the story makes it sound like they have proof that the debt had been paid then they hedge at the end of the story...so which is it? If they do in fact have proof of paying back the debt this should be a criminal act.