AYER — Hung out to dry on mortgage payments, North Middlesex Savings Bank moved Aug. 26 to foreclose on the former Sudz-It Laundry Inc. building at 31 Central Ave. in Ayer. Beyond missed mortgage payments, tax collector records indicate the building owner, Liberty Realty Trust, was also behind on property taxes.
Liberty Realty owed $10,409 in fiscal 2010 and $4,783 in fiscal 2011 property taxes through July 30. But it was the bank that moved to cleanse their books of the liability.
“OK, we did flag, we did entry,” said auctioneer Mark Shear, president of Berman Auctioneers and Appraisers, of Worcester, ticking off his final checklist before opening the auction.
“Position of the mortgage?” Shear asked.
“First,” said bank attorney Lawrence Levinson of Brams Young & Levinson, of Waltham.
“First mortgage position. Any IRS liens?” Shear asked.
“Not to our knowledge,” said Levinson.
Anyone interested in purchasing the commercial property needed to present $15,000 to bid. But when the auction got under way, it went immediately into the spin cycle. Of the few on hand to witness the auction, no one bid.
It was over in a matter of moments. North Middlesex Savings Bank bought the property for roughly half of its $370,300 assessed value.
“Once… twice… third and last call… Pronounced it sold $205,000. That would be to the mortgagee. Thank you,” said Shear.
In 2006, Liberty Realty purchased the property from Esther Munro, trustee of the Esther Munro Trust. In 2007, the bank loaned Liberty Realty Trust the sum of $408,000 in 2007 through a mortgage signed by co-trustees Charles E. and Kerstin E. Bell of Littleton. Three years later, the foreclosure on the property was complete.
The Sudz-It building is a one-story, 4,232-square-foot building sitting on a 7,440-square-foot lot of land on the south side of Central Avenue next to the railroad tracks and opposite Main Street over the tracks.