A Nashville songwriter who fought to free himself from a court-ordered conservatorship has now lost his house.
Danny Tate's home in Belle Meade was auctioned to the highest bidder Tuesday morning to pay more than $150,000 in legal fees.
The legal fees accumulated during a contentious court fight in Davidson County Probate Court that lasted more than two years.
Tate's brother said he was a drug addict and needed a conservator, which is similar to a guardian, to safeguard his wealth.
Eventually, Tate won his freedom from the conservatorship, but it came at a high price. Tate was ordered to pay both his own legal bills, and the bills for his brother's lawyer, Paul Housch.
"This is the way the law acts. You have to pay your debts," Housch told Channel 4.
The two lawyers who were owed money were the only serious buyers at the auction.
Tate's own attorney, Michael Hoskins, was the highest bidder. He bought his former client's house for $120,000, about one-third of its value on tax records.
Danny Tate says when the conservatorship process began, he was a millionaire. At the end, he was broke.
"Now they've rendered me homeless," Danny Tate said.
"As a child I believed that truth and justice prevailed in our American legal system. I no longer hold to that ideal," he said.
Hoskins told Channel 4 that if Tate would pay his legal fees, he would get his house back.
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