A family's home returned

By Matt Porter

February 25, 2013 Updated Feb 26, 2013 at 2:45 AM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) After a two-month battle with Broome County, the Kurylo family buys their home back.

In a story first reported on Action News in December, a family who found themselves in foreclosure have now recovered their home of more than 50 years.

Monday morning, Volodymyr Kurylo signed the closing papers with his twin sister Halyna and older brother Lubomyr, who is disabled. They bought their Arthur Street home back from Broome County.

But it wasn't cheap.

Volodymyr Kurylo paid $16,615.55, which included back taxes owed, penalties and fees.

That's $3,000 more than the final bill his sister received before foreclosure in December.

Up until that point, Halyna had kept the financial issue a secret from her brother, who had enough money to pay the bill in full.

Volodymyr said he was surprised at the resistance he encountered from the county.

"From the first day I offered to pay all the back taxes, I was met with obstruction, duplicity, no one was interested in resolving this matter equitably, civilly, and peacefully at the time," Volodymyr Kurylo said.

The Kurylos were subject to a unique rule that allowed the county to take the home and refuse any sell backs after a certain deadline.

That's despite the fact the county would still own the home until a public auction is held in April.

Earlier this month, the county changed its rule to allow sell backs up until the day of auction like many other New York counties.

The new law provides exemptions for financial or health crises.

It also applies if the county did not properly notify the homeowner or if the homeowner is not mentally competent.

Volodymyr Kurylo said he hopes the change will make it so no one needs to go through the same ordeal.

"Perhaps God's hand was in Mr. Keough's refusal of my check back in December, just before Christmas," he said, "Because that started a movement, and that movement was joined by a great many people."

The Kurylos qualified for both the health and financial criteria, and the sell back was approved by the county legislature Feb. 21.

Volodymyr Kurylo says he'd like the more than $1,000 in rent his sister paid the county to be subtracted from the taxes owed, but the county voted last week 8-7 against that.

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