A veteran who has lived in a Texas home for decades is homeless after he was unable to pay back taxes and the house was sold at public auction, WFAA reported.
Billie McGruder turns 80 next month. He has lived in the house his parents bought in the 1930s for decades, but he was evicted Friday, the television station reported. McGruder’s possessions, including furniture, clothes and photographs were scattered on the front yard.
"Your neighbors see you get put outdoors in the middle of the morning," McGruder told WFAA. "It's mind-boggling."
Records show Tarrant County officials seized his home over nearly $6,000 in unpaid taxes and then auctioned it off to a real estate company for $38,000, KTVT reported.
Anthony Drake Jr., a neighbor, said he is storing some of McGruder’s prized possessions. He told WFAA that he grew up on the street where McGruder lived and that it is tough to see him evicted.
"As long as he don't have a home, he has one here," Drake told WFAA. "This is the only grandfather I know. Yeah, it's hard."
McGruder’s home was sold on Jan. 2, 2017, at auction. Tarrant County Precinct 8 Constable Michael Campbell told WFAA that McGruder had a chance to contest the eviction.
"He had an opportunity to file a legal challenge to the writ," Campbell told the television station.
Neighbors said McGruder gets easily confused. When a KTVT reporter asked his age, McGruder said he was 68.
Yamal Mulid, who bought the house at auction, told WFAA he was unaware about McGruder’s situation.
"If I knew this was going to happen or the old man is in the house, I would never have bought the house," he said.
Mulid said he was willing to rent the house to McGruder at a discounted rate. He added that he would be willing to sell it back to McGruder for the auction price.
"If they want the house back, they can have it," Mulid told WFAA. "I wish they could come up with the money and they can buy the house back from me."
A GoFundMe page with a goal set at $38,000 has been started for McGruder.