Thursday, May 20, 2010

Tax lien auction in Westford

Yesterday Assistant Register Tony Accardi and I traveled to the town of Westford to witness the auction of a number of properties that had been taken by the town for taxes through the years. Approximately 50 people, most of them registered as bidders, attended the event which was run by an outfit called Strategic Auction Alliance.

Property tax-related sales are rare in Massachusetts. Our laws are designed to get the taxes paid, not to sell the property, and the procedure is somewhat onerous, requiring a foreclosure proceeding in the Land Court. But Westford followed through on all the requirements. A bit of the room's enthusiasm escaped when town officials announced at the beginning of the event that two parcels (the two most desirable, it appears) were the subjects of last minute court injunctions and would not be part of the auction. Still, the rest of the parcels generated plenty of enthusiasm and soon the sing-song cadence of the auctioneer was booming through the room, dragging bids upwards with skill and humor. The highest amount paid for a parcel was $76,000, the lowest maybe $2000. Even though I was just an interested observer, I found myself caught up in the action and learned much about how such an event is conducted. I'll watch our records for the eventual recording of documents related to these sales and report back on how that end of the transaction is handled.

1 comment:

Jeff Welch said...

Weymouth did the same thing a few weeks ago, and it was very successful. They collected $600,000.00.