Judge Voids Tax Lien Foreclosure Sale; Finds Faulty Notice To Owner = No Due Process; Subsequent Purchaser Ordered To Give Back Property
In Bridgeport, Connecticut, The Connecticut Post reports:
- A Wood Avenue lot seized by the city through foreclosure and sold to a developer must be given back to the original owner, a Superior Court judge ruled last week. Judge John Blawie ruled that because the city did not send notice of the foreclosure to the correct address, its attempt to take property for tax delinquency is null and void.
- Waikele Properties Corp., the Garden City, N.Y.-based developer that bought the Wood Avenue property from the city after the foreclosure, had begun clearing the property, digging a large hole in the center to build a house.
- "In this case, the best address for the [defendant] was available right in City Hall. Because city officials did not comply with the notice procedures found in the governing statute," Blawie states in his ruling. "This court finds that due process was not afforded the [defendant] before tax liens on the property were foreclosed."
- "Because notice of the petition was never mailed to the correct address, the defendants had no opportunity to present their case in court and be heard in its support before the property was taken by the plaintiff for unpaid taxes," the judge said. "At the very least, the defendants were deprived of the opportunity to make payment of any delinquent city property taxes before the court ordered the forfeiture of their property to the plaintiff."
For more, see Foreclosure notice to dead man (Judge orders seized, then sold, land returned to owner).
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