Paul Clark Announces Moratorium On Back Tax Foreclosures And Amnesty Program For Penalties On Back Taxes

Paul Clark Announces Moratorium On Back Tax Foreclosures
And Amnesty Program For Penalties On Back Taxes

Feb. 8, 2012 -- New Castle County announced today two measures designed to reduce residential foreclosures. Clark is issuing an Executive Order directing the County's Office of Finance not to foreclose on any residential property for back taxes so long as the owner enters into a good faith payment plan. In addition, Clark will seek County Council approval at the February 28th meeting for an amnesty program for penalties on back taxes.

The foreclosure moratorium will apply to owner-occupied primary residences. Vacant properties will not be included. To participate, residents must contact the Office of Finance, at (302) 395-5071, to see if they qualify. Qualified residents will work with a Finance representative to work out a payment plan.

The amnesty program will apply to penalties on property taxes but not sewer fees, which are currently due to the County. In all cases, property owners must visit the County Government Center to make arrangements. The ordinance establishing the amnesty program will be sponsored by County Councilmen John Cartier and George Smiley, Co-Chairs of Council's Finance Committee. Under this proposal, any residential property owner with back taxes due can pay them in full through May 31 and have all outstanding penalties waived.

"I think we were all sobered by statistics recently brought to our attention by Attorney General Beau Biden" on Delware's high rate of mortgage foreclosures, Clark said. "In addition, we know from our own revenue projections that the housing and construction industries remain firmly mired in a recession, even as other sectors of the economy improve. In fact, our figures show that average housing prices in New Castle County declined again in 2011, for the fourth straight year. Depending on when homeowners purchased their houses, the decline in housing prices may mean that the owners owe more on their mortgages than their houses are worth. Too many families, through no fault of their own, are struggling to pay their mortgages and are at risk of foreclosure. We applaud the Governor, General Assembly, and Attorney General for the efforts they have already made. New Castle County does not have a large sum of money available to directly assist homeowners with mortgage difficulties, but we want to do our part to address this very serious issue."

For more information about these two programs, please call (302) 323-2600, or click here.

Additional Homeowner Assistance Programs

New Castle County also operates several ongoing programs to keep homeowners in their homes. The Department of Community Services offers three interest-free loan programs for eligible homeowners to pay for qualified repairs to their homes. The Department also assists homeowners in retaining ownership through referrals to counseling agencies.

Finally, the County is making its facilities available for the State's new foreclosure mediation program. An information session will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. this evening, Feb. 9, in the multipurpose room of the James H. Gilliam Building, 77 Reads Way, New Castle. That site will also be available weekly for homeowners participating in the state's mandatory mediation program.

For more information about these and other programs, click here.

Contact Information

Address: New Castle County Executive Office 87 Reads Way New Castle, DE 19720
Phone: (302) 395-5101 Fax: (302) 395-5268 Website: www.nccde.org Email: ExecutiveOffice@nccde.org

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