It's been since the 1990s that the town of Clinton has held a property tax sale or a public auction designed to satisfy delinquent taxes owned by property owners.
"This is not to put anyone out of their home," said Tax Collector Melanie Yanus. "It's to help them stay in their home and get their lender to set up escrow accounts."
As Yanus explained, the town held a similar sale of vacant properties back in the 1990s, before she was tax collector.
"The town has a legal right to sell them," she said. "They are sold "as is.""
The property owners have received multiple notices of their delinquent taxes and of the upcoming auction, said Yanus.
How it works is a public auction is held. There are minimum amounts accepted for each property. The highest bidder(s) win. Then, an unrecorded tax collector's deed is filed in the town clerk's office for six months.
During that time, the homeowner, business owner or entity owning the auctioned property (not the bidder) continues to own it.
"No one can step a foot into that property during this time," said Yanus.
During the six months, the homeowner can pay back the winning bidder and all taxes, fees, expenses, etc. associated with the cost of the sale.
If during the six month time-frame the property owner does nothing, the deed is recorded on land records in the name of the new owner. They now own the property and assume all future taxes and other costs.
Yanus has six properties that qualify for auction as of January 2, but doesn't expect all six to make the March sale.
"I've had three property owners come in the office in the past two weeks and pay their taxes," she said. Those properties were taken off the auction list.
Yanus also said her wish is that the mortgage lenders would set up escrow accounts for the properties.
"The majority have mortgages and have no taxes escrowed," she said.
The auction will be held at Andrews Memorial Town Hall on March 4 at 10am.Address of Real Estate Delinquent Owner(s) Total Amount Due 9-15 John Street CTO Associates Limited Partnership, Chesebrough-Ponds, Inc., and Conopco, Inc. $105,150.82 42 Cow Hill Road Estate of Bradford Nicholson c/o J. Palsa & C. Spinelli $18,586.76 13 Beach Road Extension
Jayson Bellaria $8,338,54 3 Hunters Path Deborah Pascarella $8,156.51 45 and 49 East Shore Drive William and Sylvia Hebb $5,360.84 24 Meadow Road Gloria McKernan $4,732.89
Information in chart provided by the Clinton Tax Collector's office and is current as of Jan. 2, 2013 at 10am.