(ZALESKI, Ohio) — A 92-year-old’s offer to buy back his house has been accepted by his daughter, preventing his eviction from his home of 56 years.
After raising money from Internet donors, John Potter of Zaleski, Ohio, had attempted to buy back his home before an eviction hearing at the Vinton County Courthouse. Jury selection was scheduled for Oct. 3, after the eviction hearing was postponed during the summer.
He received an eviction notice from his daughter, Janice Cottrill, and son-in-law earlier this year, saying they had terminated his “existing lease.”
Potter and his granddaughter, Jaclyn Fraley, 35, raised nearly $140,000 on the website GoFundMe.com, but offers to buy back the home were previously rejected by his daughter.
The court has been notified that paperwork was filed to dismiss the eviction, Fraley said.
“I want to express my appreciation for all those people who helped me,” Potter said. “It wasn’t one person, it wasn’t a hundred but over five thousand people and I certainly appreciate it more than they will ever know.”
After Potter’s attorney called Fraley to notify her of the offer’s acceptance on Wednesday, she said, “I think I shrieked for 10 seconds and started bawling.”
Potter’s next step is to wait until the deed is prepared, paperwork completed and signed by her mother and stepfather, said Fraley, who said she would then write a check to them.
Fraley declined to reveal the price that was accepted, but she said it was “five figures” and more than her grandfather’s last rejected offer of about $60,000. But the amount was less than what was raised on GoFundMe.com.
Fraley said the remaining money from GoFundMe.com will be used for Potter’s care and things he might need for the house.
The story goes back to 2004, when Potter and his wife, who has since died, gave the general power of attorney to his daughter, Cottrill, for future matters if they declined in health, including to take care of her autistic adult brother, now 64. Cottrill eventually used that power to allegedly convey the deed to the one-story home to herself, Fraley said.
In 2010, Potter said he learned of the deed transfer and switched power of attorney to his granddaughter, Fraley. But it was too late legally to reverse the deed transfer.
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