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19 properties sold at Monday’s upset tax sale

Upset tax sale on Monday saw a similar number of properties as a typical year but a drop in the number that sold compared to last year.

The sale was for delinquent 2019 taxes and a total of 46 properties were presented. Out of that total, 19 sold.

That marks a decrease year-over-year, according to Tax Claim Director Phil Gilbert, who said that 74 percent of properties brought to the upset sale sold.

He said a new registration process for bidders may have driven down participation. He also said the sale in Erie County was today.

A total of 13 properties that sold went for the opening bid price — a combination of the back taxes owed, municipal liens and the cost to prepare for sale.

The remaining six went above the opening bid with the highest — 1775 Deadmans Run Road in Freehold Township. County assessment records show that the parcel is 32 acres. The opening bid was $2,378 and the sale price was bid up to $52,000.

A starting bid of just over $7,000 for the property at 4444 Route 27 in Pittsfield Township was bid up to $31,000.

Two others reached five figures — a 3-acre parcel in Elk Township off of Coal Bed Road and 3005 Lenhart Road in Pleasant Township.

In its second tour through the upset sale process, the property at 202 Pennsylvania Ave. E. has been discussed as part of the city’s blight process.

It sold for the opening bid price. Gilbert explained that the former owner contested the sale successfully but then passed away. He said he’s tried to notify any family but that the process has started anew.

For the properties that netted more than the opening bid price, Gilbert said the county will work through a process to “figure out the pecking order” of where the proceeds from the sale go. It’s possible that the owners of record will receive a portion of those funds.

“It’s tough,” he said. “(We) are selling people’s homes. We do everything we possibly can to notify these people…. With that being said, doing all I can, my job is to collect taxes.

“It’s not like I’ve surprised them.”

The properties that did not sell today will go to the judicial sale where the mortgages and liens attached to them at Monday’s sale will no longer apply.

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