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Your two-sentence summary is better than the entire article in understanding what's going on.

I read the whole article, and I somehow missed that sentence buried in the middle of the story. So Mr. Coleman wasn't "left with nothing" but presumably received something like $65,000 (i.e., $71,000 minus $6,000 or whatever the final legal bill was). Nowhere does the article say exactly what he received in the end.

The way the tax sale works sounds quite unjust and corrupt -- we don't need the reporter to make it even more evil ("left with nothing") by obscuring key facts.

No, that's not what happened at all. Try reading again.

>The Maryland company that took Coleman’s house sold it for $71,000 two months after evicting him. The company was owned by Steven Berman, who was convicted in 2008 in the Maryland bid-rigging case. He declined to comment. The law firm for Berman’s company said it was willing to reduce Coleman’s bill to $3,500 but could not reach him.

> No, that's not what happened at all.

What part are you saying I still don't understand? The point I was trying to make is that Mr. Coleman does get some money from the sale, although unjustly much less than the house is worth. But the reporter is obscuring this simple fact.

> Not only did he lose his $197,000 house, but he also was stripped of the equity because tax lien purchasers are entitled to everything, trumping even mortgage companies.

That's not "obscuring this simple fact", that's stating clearly and unambiguously that your "fact" isn't true. The person you initially responded to was creating an example, based on how liens usually work. The reason the profit margins are so high in this case is that it doesn't work that way.

As I read it the company kept the money from the house after seizing it.

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