- Associated Press - Sunday, March 27, 2016

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - A payment from an unknown person on money owed to Minnehaha County has cleared the way for a man to move his family into a home.

Peter Paul plans to move his family from a two-bedroom apartment into a two-story home. The Argus Leader (https://argusne.ws/25npJ72 ) reported the father of four had obstacles in poor relief services and a bill for court-appointed attorney services from a drunken driving arrest.

Paul took his federal tax refund and began paying his debt and putting some in a place his family could call home. But the bank financing his home said he couldn’t move forward until the bill for attorney fees was taken care of. He said he didn’t know about the lien until the bank tried to get the title for the home.

“I didn’t know how I was going to pay for it,” Paul said. “I was going to go max out my credit card to pay for the amount.”

Some county commissioners felt the $1,300 owed by Paul wasn’t worth him being put into a hole. Some wanted to forgive his debt.

Minnehaha County Commissioner Dick Kelly said Paul had paid off debt in other counties and wanted him to pay half the money he owed, or $650. Commissioner Jeff Barth argued that the debt Paul owed elsewhere was smaller compared to Minnehaha County and they were for poor relief debt.

County commissioners settled on Paul having to pay $250. Barth said a few commission members considered teaming up to pay Paul’s lien themselves.

An unknown person at the meeting paid the bill. The county auditor’s office confirmed the bill was paid, but said the person who paid it wants to stay anonymous.

Paul’s path to homeownership has cleared, with the move planned Friday. He said he’s trying to track down the man who paid his bill.

“It was by the grace of God that he was there,” Paul said. “I want to bless him for the good heart that he has.”


Information from: Argus Leader, https://www.argusleader.com

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