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What’s in a typo?… A house foreclosure and a cardiac arrest!

© Ugur Akinci

When I say correct and error-free documentation can sometimes be a matter of life and death, some think I’m exaggerating. I have to respectfully agree to disagree.

Here is a recent news item according to which a California man first lost his house and then had a cardiac arrest at the courthouse while defending his property rights and died — all due to a simple typo!

The unfortunate Californian in question happens to be Larry Delassus of Hermosa Beach, 62, RIP.

Wells Fargo foreclosed on his house two years ago due to the wrong parcel number recorded by the bank assessor. It was a simple typo that gave the bank the wrong idea that Mr. Delassus was behind in his property taxes. It was actually his neighbor who was behind in taxes and not him but the bank wouldn’t budge.

“Despite records proving he was in fact ahead of schedule on his mortgage payments and had paid his property taxes in advance, Delassus still had to go to court, in Torrance Courthouse, which is where, on December 19, 2012, he suffered a massive heart attack and died,” said Daily Mail in a news story published on the newspaper’s web site.

Perhaps we’ll all be more careful the next time we fill out a form either for ourselves or for someone else. A typo is just a typo until it isn’t.


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