Wooden gavel

A new agreement has been reached with the goal of helping a Rochester man keep his home following foreclosure.

The agreement filed in district court Thursday revolves around Toby Nesheim's application for Social Security benefits.

“There’s basically a trigger in there,” Senior Assistant Olmsted County Attorney Tom Canan said, noting Nesheim will have 14 days from the Jan. 31 Social Security hearing to pay the property tax bill or leave the Second Street Southeast house.

Nesheim owes $12,060 in taxes and fees on the home valued at $108,000 by the county for tax purposes. In 2011, he had purchased the home from his mother for $55,000, according to county records.

After five years of being delinquent on his property taxes, the state foreclosed on Nesheim’s home last year, but an agreement allowed him to stay in the house as a tenant of Olmsted County. Failing to meet the payment terms of the agreement landed him in eviction court last month.

On Thursday, Canan and Nesheim’s attorney, Brian Lipford from the Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services, reached a new agreement allowing Nesheim to stay in the house until his Social Security hearing.

If Nesheim’s disability claim is approved, he’s expected to receive $13,500 to account for nearly two years in back benefits, stemming from when he initially submitted an application based on pain that keeps him from standing for extended periods and doing many tasks. Court records also indicate he has cited issues with his mental health.

Nesheim’s mother declined participating in an earlier proposal, which called for her to cover the back taxes owed to the county, as well as taxes and utility bills for 2020.

The new agreement to use the anticipated retroactive disability payment is expected to cover Nesheim’s contracted debt on the house, $1,306 for this year’s property taxes and a portion of the county’s $1,077 in expenses related to the case.

Heather Bestler, Olmsted County’s property tax and elections manager, said the reimbursement amount is enough to consider the debt paid and start the process to return the home to Nesheim.

Nesheim would remain obligated to pay future taxes, but could file for a special homestead status based on his disability, which could reduce the amount owed on an annual basis.

If the disability claim is approved, Lipford said he is expected to receive $771 a month, along with other benefits.

If the benefits are denied, Nesheim is expected to leave the home within two weeks.

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