HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — A delay in the Mecklenburg County courthouse has left one local woman waiting for months for thousands of dollars. 

When tenants appeal an eviction in the court system, they pay their rent to the county court as they await the outcome of their case. It’s called rent bond.

Tammy DeCesare decided not to renew her tenants’ lease at her Huntersville property in 2022, due to the hot real estate market at the time. She hoped to sell her rental for well over asking price and potentially make a large profit. But her tenants did not leave willingly. 

She took her tenants to court, and after a lengthy appeals process, a judge ruled in DeCesare’s favor in June. 

It took another two months for the judge to finally sign off on her ruling and release funds. That happened Aug. 31, but DeCesare still hasn’t received the money. 

“From a legal standpoint, it started in June of 2022, and here we are in October of 2023, and we’ve gotten the premises back, but Mecklenburg County has all of the funds that they’ve collected over that time,” she said. 

The ruling is seen here:

In total, DeCesare is waiting for a check for more than $13,200. 

“I’ve had to float the mortgage, the taxes, the insurance, all the while Mecklenburg County has that money sitting in the account,” she said. 

Mecklenburg County Clerk of Court Elisa Chinn-Gary tells Queen City News a massive increase in evictions is to blame the delay. She says so far this year, the county has seen more than 33,500 evictions filed but no additional resources to help process them. 

Earlier this month, officials transitioned the county to the North Carolina eCourt system, which is supposed to make court processes run more efficiently. 

“I believe the future forward is that the attorneys will file it into the e-system, which is going to be great future forward,” said DeCesare. “But for those of us caught in the backlog, it has not been smooth.” 

To top it all off, increased mortgage rates have significantly cooled down home sales. DeCesare believes she’s missed her window to make a big profit off her property. 

“It’s kind of a double punch,” she said. “You’re getting punched from what you should have in your pocket already, and you’re getting really socked from what was supposed to be in your pocket when this whole venture started.” 

Mecklenburg County court officials said they cut DeCesare her check the day Queen City News reached out to them. They said it will be mailed to her within five-to-seven business days.