That kicked off a series of fake deeds and sale agreements in which the house changed hands three times from McClay to Hien Nguyen and Anna Nguyen for $90,000, and then to Jack Trung Nguyen for $150,000, all in the space of a year.
"By the time I got the paperwork, a new owner had popped up," said Isabella.
She said she called the police, the District Attorney's Office, the state attorney general, the FBI and several legal groups for help.
"I wanted help from the city, and no one helped me," she said.
Tasha Jamerson, spokeswoman for the D.A.'s Office, said Isabella had contacted the office and was referred to Central Detectives in the Police Department. The case made its way to the Major Crimes Unit, which handles fraudulent deeds, but it has not been successful, said Sgt. Joseph Cella.
Cella says he urges victims to file an "action to quiet title," a civil complaint that is the only way the rightful owners can get their properties back under their names.
Isabella studied the court system and how to file various legal documents. Five years and thousands of dollars later, Common Pleas Judge Esther Sylvester ruled in Isabella's favor last year, after Jack Trung Nguyen challenged an earlier ruling.Nguyen is now trying to get back money for expenditures.
Isabella has taken all that she has learned from that terrible experience to help fraudulent-deed victims and friends facing foreclosure.
"I had to go through hell for 5 1/2 years to get my house back," she said. "Those are the steps I had to take to get to where I am today. [But] how many people don't know what to do?"
On Twitter: @Jan_Ransom