The Feb. 28 article, “Elderly foreclosure bill stripped,” has a number of interesting points.

First, the objection that privacy prevents saying who has been affected by foreclosures doesn’t make sense. Property ownership is a matter of public record. So are taxes. So are foreclosure sales. Foreclosure sales are supposed to be published in newspapers, are they not?

Secondly, they say notice to interested parties might be an undue burden on a town. Our town publishes an annual report that includes property taxes. Why not include a section for any properties that will be put up for foreclosure in the next year?

Thirdly, it says that an offer to pay what is due on behalf of the owner may be rejected. The Sukeforths lost their home so the town could get another $500.

Fourthly, municipalities say it would be too much trouble to offer properties through normal real estate marketing. That the home cited in the article went for less than 10 percent of its estimated fair-market price indicates the current system doesn’t work very well.

Finally, they say it would be an undue burden to return money for a sale in excess of taxes, interest, and fees to the owner. Why should a town get a windfall profit? A business can’t refuse an over-payment refund because it’s too much trouble.

The current system seems to leave a lot of space for cronyism, payoffs, and paybacks.

Why shouldn’t there be a standard set of rules for tax foreclosures?

The way the article is written, it sounds as if the people writing the bill want to let the people in fragile situations know they feel for them, but can’t reach them.

Tom Heyns

Chelsea

filed under:

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.