SHIRLEY -- With a green light from the land court and no other viable options left to collect more than $100,000 due on a tax-delinquent Harvard Road property that has been in "tax title" since 1994, the town was moving ahead with eviction proceedings when the 23-year old bill was paid off at the eleventh hour.
From the town's slant, it was a happy ending to a long story.
The town took over ownership of the Harvard Road property after owners Rebecca and Zdravko Djordjevic failed to pay back taxes of about $105,000 and other long overdue amounts they owed the town, including penalties, fees and a $3,500 sewer betterment.
Recently updating the situation, which the Oracle first reported on in May, Town Collector Holly Haase said that on Monday, Aug. 18, the couple was officially notified that the town owned their home and they had 48 hours to vacate.
A constable served the eviction notice, she said.
Late Tuesday afternoon, Aug. 18, Haase received a call from the Djordjevics' attorney, who told her the money they owed the town was in the bank, ready for transfer.
The transfer was completed the next day.
The attorney is representing the Djordjevics in a pending sale that could not proceed until the tax lien was lifted. But, sale or no sale, with the money they owed now secured in town coffers, the couple no longer faces eviction from their home, Haase said.
In future, tax delinquent dilemmas can be avoided by not allowing prolonged lapses, Haase said.
In this case, the unpaid tax bill was allowed to slide too long as it continued to grow, she said.
Haase said it won't happen again, adding that she would present plans to selectmen at their next meeting to foreclose on other properties with unpaid tax bills dating back decades.