The Cortlandt Town Board has decided to reopen bidding on a foreclosed home at 28 DiRubbo Drive after community members complained about the process Tuesday night.
The Di Rubbo Drive home and another at 539 Westbrook Drive were offered at an upset price of $300,000 in a town auction last month, where about 35 people attended but no one bid. Because no one bid, the nature of a foreclosure auction allowed the town to then open the floor to any bids at all.
Local builder and real-estate agent Anthony Matra submitted the highest bids of around $100,000 for the Westbrook home, which the town accepted, Town Attorney Tom Wood said.
Matra also bid $71,000 on the Di Rubbo home but the town held off on accepting the bid because civic activist and Di Rubbo Drive resident Dan Pagano informed the town that he and some of his neighbors would be interested in offering a bid now that they could go below the upset price. To give neighbors another chance to bid, the town set a deadline of 4 p.m. Tuesday, June 12, to submit bids. They received one bid from a Hartsdale woman, that was a little higher than Matras, Wood said.
During Tuesday’s meeting another Di Rubbo resident complained that he hadn’t realized he could offer a bid below the upset price and was upset he missed that chance. So the Town Board decided they would hold another auction for the DiRubbo home. The auction will most likely not happen until late summer, Town Attorney Tom Wood said.
The decision Tuesday came after hearing from Pagano and Matra. Pagano told the town they were undervaluing the homes and “could do better for the taxpayers.” He also asked the town to consider placing requirements on the property to only sell to owner-operators.
“You can prioritize who it goes to, owner-operators rather than speculators,” Pagano said. He asked them to re-advertise and rebid the homes.
Matra’s lawyer spoke to the town saying requirements would limit eligible buyers and might make it impossible for the town to sell the properties.
“If you impose more conditions you won’t get this property sold,” Matra’s attorney said.
Wood explained that foreclosed property auctions make it difficult for the town to obtain full market value because the sales do not allow buyers to review or inspect the property before buying. Also, there are people living in the home and it would be the new owner’s responsibility to deal with evicting them.
Wood explained that the town is most interested in selling the homes to recover lost taxes and to get the properties back on the tax rolls.
The Di Rubbo home will remain in foreclosure until another auction is held, during which the town hopes to receive a final bid and close the deal.
The following is the town's description of 28 Di Rubbo Drive:
- c. 1979 Contemporary
- Approximately 2,100 square feet, finished
- Single family
- 1 acre +/-
- $300,000 upset price
- 4 bedroom
- Lakeland Schools
Would you bid on a foreclosed home that you could not inspect first and where you would have to evict the current occupants? Have you? Tell us in the comments.