Members of polygamist sect get chance to buy their own homes

Associated Press - January 10, 2008

Hildale, Utah -- Roger Wyler has something almost no one else in Hildale, Utah, has - a deed to his home.

That's because for more than 60 years, all the land and homes in the adjoining towns of Hildale, Utah and Colorado City, Arizona, haven't belonged to residents. Instead, they were owned by a trust set up by the Fundamanetalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

But a 2005 court order is dismantling the old United Effort Plan Trust, giving past and current members of the polygamous FLDS church a chance to own their own homes.

In August, Wyler and his wife were the first to buy a home from court-appointed trust manager Bruce Wisan. They got a six-bedroom, four-bath home in August for a bargain-basement $115,000 plus some back taxes.

Forty-two more former church members are in negotiations with Wisan to secure homes. So far, no active FLDS members are cooperating with Wisan or seeking deeds to their homes.

The religious sect has a large development in the West Texas town of Eldorado, about 40 miles south of San Angelo.

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