Senate OKs bill to protect seniors from foreclosure

AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine Senate on Sept. 13 unanimously voted to enact legislation to protect Maine seniors from losing their homes with an amendment from Senate Democratic Leader Troy Jackson of Allagash.

As amended, LD 1629, An Act To Protect the Elderly from Tax Lien Foreclosures, ensures that Maine seniors remain eligible for the Homestead Property Tax Exemption if they fall on hard times and are temporarily out of their home.

“While I’m glad this bill is on the path to become law, it’s a reminder that we need to do more as a state to lower property taxes so seniors can afford to stay in their homes,” said Jackson.

Earlier this year, Jackson spoke with an elderly woman from Caribou who had lost her home due to back taxes, but was eventually able to repay the debt and get her home back. Unfortunately, after returning to her home, a bureaucratic loophole deemed her ineligible to receive critical property tax relief from the Homestead Property Tax Exemption.

This bill closes the loophole and ensures that others won’t experience a similar hardship.

LD 1629 received a unanimous report out of the Legislature’s Taxation Committee earlier this year. It has now been sent to the governor, who has 10 days to sign it, veto it, or allow it to become law without his signature.

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