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Owensboro considering mass foreclosure lawsuit

Nearly a year after Owensboro city officials filed a foreclosure suit against dozens of properties, another one could be filed this spring.


The purpose: collecting unpaid property taxes and starting action on dilapidated buildings. Delinquent tax notices started being sent out recently. 


Home ownership has a cost. A cost some don't pay.


"You have those out there that for whatever reason, they decide they're not going to pay their taxes,” says Assistant City Attorney Steve Lynn.


To collect unpaid property taxes, city officials are considering another mass foreclosure suit, which could list as many as 40 properties. The final list is not completed yet. Lynn says it's to collect unpaid taxes, and get action started on dilapidated homes. 


"The city's always glad that somebody that wants the property is there, they're paying their taxes on it, and they may be building a house or doing something they can enjoy the property,” he says.


Last year's suit targeted 33 homes, where Lynn says at least a third of their owners paid unpaid property taxes. Others were sold or demolished. Previous mass foreclosure suits collected as much as $54,000 for the city.


"If they don't foreclose on some of this stuff, they just let them go, and they fall down,” says James Boone, who lives near one of the sites on Jackson Street named in last year's suit. He says the lawsuit can do some good, but wishes more can be done.


"I wish the city would do more with people that own the properties saying you have so many days to fix it up,” Boone says.


Lynn also says the suit won't be filed until late March or early April at the earliest.


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(This story was originally published on February 13, 2018)

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