Homeowners Avoid Foreclosure by Paying Delinquent Taxes
By Wendy Osher
[flashvideo file=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cldx82FFtDs /] Owners of some 200-plus parcels on Maui avoided foreclosure by paying back taxes on delinquent properties. The County of Maui recently announced the collection of more than $6 million in delinquent taxes, penalty and interest through the Department of Finance.
“We are trying very hard to be sympathetic and work out payment programs because we realize these are tough times and many of the individuals have a really hard time making payments,” said Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa in an exclusive interview.
“There are however, about seven or eight delinquencies where we are just going to have to foreclose,” said Mayor Arakawa, who noted that only one of the cases remaining still had an individual living on the property.
Mayor Arakawa commended the Finance Department for working with delinquencies saying, ” They’ve actually gone out to each individual on a one-to-one basis. We are getting returns through agreements from the people that owe us money; and in many cases, are totally paid off,” said Arakawa.
While the tax collection is significant, the mayor said it is more important that County employees took the time to help keep people from losing their homes to foreclosure.
The list of more than 200 delinquencies was pared down to just eight at last report.
“We just are able to recover money that’s owed us as if it were a regular tax,” said Mayor Arakawa who explained that the money collected goes back into the County’s General Fund, and will be allocated by the Council through the next budget process.