In an unusual move, Gov. Paul LePage attended a legislative work session Tuesday afternoon to speak in support of his legislation designed to ensure that elderly homeowners who can’t pay their property taxes don’t lose their homes.
The governor’s office says the legislation stems from a situation last year in which an elderly couple — he a disabled veteran and she a former nurse with health issues — lost the home they had lived in for 33 years when the town foreclosed on it and it was sold for $6,500.
LePage told the Taxation Committee that many elderly Mainers don’t know where to go for help.
“All we’re saying and all I’m asking is have the community work with the person to see if there’s an alternative way than foreclosing, and usually there is, is all I’m saying,” he says.
The bill would create a foreclosure process that municipalities would have to follow for homeowners 65 years of age or older. Among its provisions, the legislation would require the use of a real estate broker when the property is sold, with any net proceeds returned to the homeowner.