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Township Begins Tax Sale Process for Over 1,000 Properties

Outstanding bills from 2010 owed to township and BTMUA add up to $1.8 million

A brisk wind made a whistling sound as it whipped past the empty, ranch-style home at 128 Squan Beach Road.

The neatly-kept house, located on a lagoon in the Curtis Point neighborhood, has the distinction of topping Brick’s list of 1,007 properties with unpaid taxes released Monday. Taxes owed on the home, listed as being owned by a couple from Mountainside Borough, Union County, top $27,000 including interest. All of the properties on the list will have tax liens up for sale in a public auction set for April 5.

In the sale, bidders vie to buy up tax debt in a “Dutch auction” round of public bidding. Once a buyer successfully bids down an interest rate which the delinquent taxpayer will be charged, the lienholder satisfies the tax debt with the township immediately and begins a two-year waiting game before foreclosure proceedings can begin, Pezarras said. During those two years, the property owner can pay back the lienholder, with interest.

It’s a ritual that occurs each year in Brick and other municipalities. Some property owners will show up to pay their delinquent property tax or Brick Township Municipal Utilities Authority bill minutes before the auction begins, Pezarras said. Others will let the liens be placed on their properties and use it as a “loan they don’t have to apply for” because they can’t afford their tax obligations.

“Someone is basically lending you money, this third-party lienholder, and you don't have to apply for that loan,” said Pezarras.

Altogether, the 1,007 properties listed on Brick’s website are connected with outstanding bills to the township or the BTMUA totaling $1,812,312. Lienholders will buy up most of the debt, Pezarras said, and the township has the option of taking legal action, including foreclosure after six months, against properties whose tax debt isn’t scooped up by private investors.

The debt ranges from obligations of about $20 – most likely balances remaining on water or sewer bills from the previous fiscal year, according to Pezarras – to the more than $23,000 tax bill left unpaid from last year on the Squan Beach Drive home. The first quarter tax bill for 2011 on the same home remains unpaid as well, according to a public records search, adding another $4,766 to the bill that isn’t being included in this year’s tax sale. A message left at the phone number of the Mountainside home where the property owners live was not returned.

There is no minimum amount of debt owed before a tax sale is triggered, Pezarras said. And there is no minimum amount required for a lienholder to foreclose on a property if the debt, interest and other penalties are not satisfied by the two year deadline.

“If a lien was sold for $10, and it's not satisfied, you could foreclose on it,” Pezarras said.

That rarely happens, he added, but interest rates up to 18 percent and various penalties associated with tax liens can begin to add up over time – all while new tax debt is accruing each quarter for a property owner.

Residents who have outstanding tax bills have only way of avoiding being placed into a relationship with a lienholder, Pezarras said.

“They can stop the lien from being sold as long as they come in prior to the sale and satisfy that amount.”

Joe Joe March 08, 2011 at 01:15 PM
Hey, that's 1000 to 2000 people who will vote NO to the referendum. I'll have to get the addresses and send them a flier.
Noelle Veiksans March 08, 2011 at 02:15 PM
can you actually see the list???
Noelle Veiksans March 08, 2011 at 02:16 PM
oh.. i got it... ignore the idiot behind the curtain!!!
clamdigger March 08, 2011 at 07:10 PM
Hello Noelle, try this link; http://www.twp.brick.nj.us/library/AD.pdf if that one doesn't work go to the Twp home page; http://www.twp.brick.nj.us/ and under news click on Tax Sale
Joe Joe March 08, 2011 at 07:24 PM
clam, it has lot and block... I wish it had addresses... much easier to do a mailing.
clamdigger March 08, 2011 at 07:40 PM
it's either use the Twp's Tax inq. page or Data universe, lot's of luck hope it helps.
disgusted homeowner March 08, 2011 at 09:54 PM
another reason to vote no on this referendum chicanery. so many residents are in financial trouble with their mortgages or property taxes being unpaid. so many have lost their jobs or have sustained pay or overtime cuts. it's awful that the administration wants to throw salt in the wound of these struggling families and exceed gov. christie's cap. why can't stevie get on the same page as the governor he campaigned for. resign from one of your public jobs for starters....
StainlessFab March 09, 2011 at 03:06 PM
Township notice that went out states that you can pay online via official payments. When you call, the recorded message states that you can pay online via official payments. So we did, yesterday. Paid in full. BUT, i looked at my tax account online today and it showed that I still owed. So I called. Jo Anne at the Tax office states that once it hits the paper, you can no longer pay online. She advised me that she REJECTED the payment! I asked her where does it state that? Not online. Not via the letter. Not on your recorded message. I asked why we weren't notified. She stated that they were hoping people would call. CALL, are you kidding me. I read the noticed that was sent out and followed specific instructions on how to pay. The tax sale notice from the town is dated March 9, 2011. I paid March 8, 2011. Whats the problem here??? She advised that you must pay via CASH or Certified check. Again I asked how we were to know this, ESP?? Unbelievable!!
StainlessFab March 09, 2011 at 03:46 PM
Oh, had we been notified properly, I would have paid Friday, Saturday, Sunday……. What a mess. Many people are going to be in trouble…. How are they going to pay??? To many people, this was there only hope. Luckily, I am able to pay he balance, but I didn’t count on coming up with 5K in CASH today.
savethedrama foryamamma March 11, 2011 at 12:54 AM
Are you really asking how you were supposed to know to pay your taxes? It does stink if the information was not clear, but you don't get to not pay your taxes and complain about it. Sorry 'bout your luck.
disgusted homeowner March 14, 2011 at 12:31 PM
i do have a question about online payments though. i pay my own taxes since i have no mortgage. but you can only pay with a credit or debit card online thru official payments. and yes there is a fee. you cannot pay your taxes in brick online thru an ach withdrawal from a bank account. WHY NOT?????? other towns you can, because i do it for rental properties in toms river. my taxes are ontime, i am not in the same predicament as "stainless fab" in the posting above. i would love to pay them online from my checking account, like i pay so many other bills. but you cant do it in brick.
Scott Pezarras March 15, 2011 at 03:11 AM
Disgusted We have that service in Brick. I suggest you call the Collector JoAnne Lambusta and get the forms to sign up. Her number is 732-262-1023. We sent letters out with the tax bills apprising taxpayers that this service was available, you must have just missed it.
disgusted homeowner March 15, 2011 at 03:23 AM
thanks scott, i will contact her for the details. and yes i may have missed it if it was in my last tax bill sent.
Scott Pezarras March 15, 2011 at 04:17 AM
My pleasure.
Jose Deer March 17, 2011 at 07:01 PM
everyone should/needs to stop paying their property taxes at ONCE ! stop feeding the machine, that is killing you
Scott Pezarras March 18, 2011 at 01:10 AM
Jose If you do that, you will end up on the tax lien sale list as well. It is the law.

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