Sally Franz, the 82-year-old town of Oregon resident threatened with foreclosure by Dane County Treasurer Dave Worzala (Watchdog, 5/28/10), is apparently going to be able to keep her home.
That's not because Worzala had a change of heart or agreed to accept less than the $899 in back taxes she owed, including penalties and interest, over her refusal to pay an accidental overcharge (corrected with a subsequent tax break). It's because Franz has what she calls "very supportive kids and friends" who took it upon themselves to settle the debt. "I do not approve," she says. "This is letting him get away with it."
Worzala confirms that Franz's delinquent tax was paid on June 29. Earlier, he had given Franz until late July before taking steps to foreclose on her home.
Meanwhile, Marian Pehowski, the 85-year-old Madison woman whose house insurance was dropped by American Family after she filed two claims in a year for ice damage and a minor theft (Watchdog, 6/10/10), has secured comparable insurance from another company, Liberty Mutual, for slightly less than she'd been paying.
"It's certainly been an experience," says Pehowski, who's heard from others who've had their coverage terminated because they've happened to need it. "I think all of the insurance companies are trying to get rid of anybody who doesn't mean an instant profit."
On June 8, American Family defended its decision in a letter to Pehowski: "Our premium rate is based on an expected average loss frequency. On the average, a typical homeowner policy such as yours incurs one claim every 12 years. Anything over that is cause for concern."
Too bad that's not something customers are told before they procure policies.