After living in her home for 60 years, 84-year-old woman faces eviction over $20M dispute

Stephen Nartey November 17, 2023
Corine Woodson/Photo credit: WTVM

An 84-year-old Alabama woman, Corine Woodson, is facing eviction from her home of over 60 years following attempts by investors to purchase the 40-acre plot, potentially valued at $20 million, owned by her family.

The decision to sell the property has arisen due to shared ownership within the family, leading to Woodson being compelled to leave her long-time residence on the outskirts of Auburn. She indicated she was puzzled over the impending eviction, and wondered about the reasons behind it. Despite her curiosity, according to her, the complexity of the situation has deepened her confusion about what was currently happening.

The 40-acre plot, jointly owned by numerous family members with percentage-based ownership, has a history spanning generations. Woodson inherited her residence on the land from her late husband, whose family has maintained ownership since the early 1900s, according to the New York Post.

Certain “tenants-in-common” are seeking to sell their shares of the jointly owned land. In this arrangement, once one owner decides to sell, it triggers a collective sale, providing an opportunity for investors to acquire the coveted land in the developing Moore’s Mill neighborhood.

Cleveland Brothers Inc. has actively participated in this process, gradually buying out multiple family members, and currently holds a 49% ownership stake in the sought-after property.

Cleveland Brothers Inc. could potentially acquire the entire disputed property, as a court-ordered appraisal is underway. The ownership situation is further complicated by the recent passing of Willie Woodson, who was married to Woodson for over 50 years.

The family has concluded that the land cannot be evenly divided. Melissa, Woodson’s daughter, argues that her mother is being denied the chance to purchase the entire property because her late father didn’t explicitly express such intent.

The ongoing appraisal has yet to determine the current value of the land, but neighboring two-acre lots are reportedly selling for $500,000 each. Estimates suggest that Woodson’s 40 acres could potentially be valued close to $20 million.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: November 17, 2023


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