Elderly woman wins case to stop reverse mortgage
SANTA CLARA COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- An elderly San Jose woman and her son took on the Santa Clara County public guardian Thursday in court and won. The county wanted to take out a reverse mortgage on their home. Grace Alaimo, 85, got a chance to set the record straight. She was confused at times by the questions and got emotional but in the end, the judge heard her loud and clear.
Grace owns a house in San Jose, but has been living in an assisted living facility in Cupertino, paid for by MediCal.
"And I like it there," Grace said in court Thursday. "Because it's all my friends."
The public guardian's office filed a motion to take out a reverse mortgage on her house, which would mean she would have to move back there. The county says grace had expressed a desire to move home over the years, and the only way to afford that would be a reverse mortgage.
"The fund from the reverse mortgage would be used for home maintenance, repair, property maintenance and things of that nature," Santa Clara County Counsel Mark Gonzalez said.
Grace was conserved by Santa Clara County in 2008 after a court found the accusations credible that her son, Anthony, and now-deceased husband, Sylvio misused her money and were not taking care of her.
Anthony Alaimo denies any wrongdoing. He still lives in the family home and has been fighting the county over control of his mother and the house. He says the family trust prohibits taking out a reverse mortgage.
"Who are the most important people in your life," Gonzalez asked Grace.
"My son," she said.
With questions from three attorneys, Grace told the court where she wanted to live.
"Would you like to move home or stay where you're at," her attorney George Abel asked.
"I want to stay where I am at," she said.
With that, Judge Thomas Cain ruled against the county's motion.
"I'm persuaded most by her statements here today and so consequently I am going to determine that she should remain where she is at the moment," Cain said.
"At least he showed me that the system works after five and a half years in the court system and that we can get some relief," Anthony Alaimo said.
Anthony Alaimo tells the ABC7 News I-Team he plans on finding ways for his mother to visit the house, including buying a van to transport her. The county still maintains control of Grace's estate, and if she changes her mind about moving home, this will most likely end up in court again.
seniors, santa clara county, i-team, dan noyes
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