OXFORD – The town manager has issued a memo saying it doesn’t make sense for the town to sell foreclosed properties because most are mobile homes on leased land.

Mike Huston issued the memo to the Board of Selectmen last week in response to both a suggestion put forth by Selectman Dennis Sanborn and to concerns raised at the town meeting.

Huston said at least once a month or so the town office fields an inquiry from a person or company about foreclosed properties in town, presumably so they can buy them at bargain prices.

He said the town has 18 properties on which there is a mature, foreclosed tax lien, with a total owed to the town of $6,825.50. Of these 18 properties, there are arrangements with the former owners of six properties who are trying to pay off back taxes. Two other properties are in bankruptcy and therefore cannot be sold, Huston said.

But even if all of the properties could be sold, Huston said, selling them wouldn’t make sense since “the properties are typically mobile homes in a lot, where the person owning the mobile home does not also own the underlying ground.”

The average tax owed is $379.

If the town moves on the foreclosures, “it would find itself the owner of a mobile home, but no real property, making the possibility of collecting an amount greater than the taxes owed somewhat remote,” he said.

As future tax liens in town mature, the town will keep an eye on them, he said, “and should an opportunity present itself for the town to take a particular piece of property and sell it, I will advise the board.”


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