Washington state's Supreme Court says a man who accidentally surrendered ownership of his home shortly after his son was killed may be protected by state law.

Attorney David Leen said the man, Lawrence Jametsky, was in tears Thursday because of the hope that he could get his home back. Leen says Jametsky has been living out of a car.

Jametsky was behind on his property taxes in 2008 when he lost his job and his son was murdered. Worried about the prospect of losing his home, Jametsky sought to loan money against his home equity.

Supreme Court documents say Jametsky has learning disabilities and didn't realize that the people offering to help him had actually prepared documents in which he surrendered his home ownership.

Justices say Jametsky may qualify for protections under state law. The case now goes back to a lower court.