LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - One woman no longer in need of a house she received through Habitat for Humanity wanted to give the home back to another needy family, but never expected the trouble that attempt would bring.
Habitat for Humanity has helped hundreds of families realize their dream of home ownership over the course of the past 25 years, including Yvonne Parkinson.
"It was wonderful," Yvonne Parkinson said. "I was really blessed to have the experience."
After living in a trailer for 18 years, Yvonne Parkinson moved into the house at 1011 Queen Street in Lafayette. She lived there for four years, until she met someone.
Yvonne Parkinson, known as Yvonne Vanderaa at the time, married Michael Parkinson on September 12, 2009. After their honeymoon, Yvonne Parkinson moved out of her place on Queen Street and into her husband's house in West Lafayette.
She then tried to figure out what to do with her old house. Habitat for Humanity's homes continue to be in high demand. There are 33 families on the waiting list right now in the greater Lafayette, Indiana area.
"I knew that I could probably sell the house, but I did not feel right about it in my heart," Yvonne Parkinson said.
Instead of selling the house and making a profit, Parkinson decided she wanted to give it back to the Habitat for Humanity program. That is when the trouble started.
Habitat for Humanity officials told News Channel 18 when someone signs on to take over a property three rules apply: they must pay their mortgage, they must pay it on-time and they must live there.
Those officials said Yvonne Parkinson broke the agreement when she packed up her things and moved out.
Yvonne Parkinson has been found in default, even though her monthly payments are up to date. The house could be foreclosed on and her credit could take a hit.
Michael Parkinson, Yvonne Parkinson's husband and attorney, said it was all because she got married. Michael Parkinson said being punished for tying the knot is not legal.
"In all my years of legal practice, I have never encountered anything so patently absurd in my life," Michael Parkinson said.
Michael Parkinson said he is trying to come to an agreement with attorneys for the city and Habitat, but he said this case could go before a judge.
"If they take action like that they will be coming after us legally and we will have to defend it in court," said Michael Parkinson. "We are not willing to back down on this."
Yvonne Parkinson said she never would have thought her effort to give back would be filled with so much drama. She has been told she has three options: move back into the house, sell it, or let it go into foreclosure.
After having no luck trying to give it back to Habitat, the house at 1011 Queen Street is on the market.
NewsChannel 18 talked to Randall Vonderheide, the attorney representing Habitat for Humanity. He said he can not comment on cases that are ongoing. We left messages for Lafayette City Attorney Ed Chosnek. Those calls were not returned.
Stay tuned to NewsChannel 18 for the latest developments on this story.
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