No one bid Tuesday in a court-ordered auction of the former Mountain View Manor Adult Home, not even the lawyer for the bank holding a $1 million mortgage.
“The bank has decided not to buy the property,” said John D’Amanda, attorney for Rhode Island-based Textron Business Credit, which foreclosed on the mortgage.
A 20-minute reading of the legal description of the approximately 57-acre property and the terms of the auction were followed by about three minutes of silence from about 20 curious onlookers in the lobby of the Schoharie County Office Building in Schoharie.
“In my 17 years of doing this, I’ve never had a sale with no bids,” said a surprised Marvin Parshall Jr., the court-appointed referee conducting the auction.
No one asked questions or spoke up during the proceedings.
“We were just wondering who our new neighbors would be,” nearby property owner Keith Wood said afterward.
The lack of bids leaves the property still under the ownership of BJF Property Associates LLC, and principal Bette J. Forshaw, according to D’Amanda.
Forshaw, believed to be a Caroga Lake area resident at the time the adult home was closed in June 2006, could not be reached for comment.
The auction was an effort to satisfy a May 25 foreclosure judgment in state Supreme Court in Schoharie County of $1,365,787 against the owners.
Liens, including the unpaid mortgage and at least $94,000 in current and back taxes, are still due against the property, according to county officials.
If there had been a successful sale Tuesday, the overdue 2006-2007 taxes of about $51,600, according to county officials, would have been deducted from the proceeds first, Amanda said, leaving the balance for Textron.
As the plaintiff, Textron Business Credit would have received what remained from the sale, after taxes, but is not responsible for paying the taxes, Amanda said to clarify a statement attributed to him in Tuesday’s Daily Gazette.
The next step is pending legal review, D’Amanda said. Simply satisfying the mortgage no longer would likely be acceptable, he said.
“It’s an unusual situation,” he said after the auction. “We had planned on somebody bidding on the property.”
Various judgments of outstanding debts and liens remain on file with the Schoharie County Clerks Office, but the mortgage and unpaid county, town and school tax bills are the bulk of the debt, according to county records.
Unpaid taxes will continue to accumulate interest penalties.
Typically the county waits four years to foreclose on properties for overdue taxes, according to county Treasurer William Cherry.
In some circumstances, the county acts to seize commercial property, such as the former adult home, for back taxes after only two years. Currently, overdue taxes go back only one year, Cherry said.
Cherry, who watched Tuesday’s auction proceedings, also expressed surprise that Textron did not bid to become the owner of the property.
“It’s very strange. Evidently, no one wanted the liability,” he said.
The two-story brick building on two parcels is assessed for a total value of $928,070, based on the 2007-2008 tax rolls, according to county Real Property Tax Services records.
The state Health Department ordered the aging building closed in June 2006 after reporting that fire sprinkler systems were not working. About 22 residents of the 49-bed facility were relocated to other Capital Region facilities outside Schoharie County at the time.
The 100-year-old building sits on a high hillside with a sweeping view of Middleburgh and the Schoharie Valley. It has seen a variety of uses over the years, including as a county home for the poor, a residence for Franciscan friars, and a school, before being operated as an adult-care facility under various owners since the mid-1980s.
More from The Daily Gazette:
Categories: Schenectady County