Section 11-99A-21

Failure to pay assessments.

If the owner of any land within the district fails to pay an assessment when due, time being of the essence, the board may commence proceedings to foreclose on the land as follows:

(1) The board shall send a letter, certified mail, return receipt requested, United States first class mail to the last known address of the owner. The address of the owner as shown in the tax assessment records of the tax assessor or revenue commissioner for the county in which the property is located shall be sufficient.

(2) The letter shall specify that if payment is not made within 10 days of the date of the letter, foreclosure proceedings may be commenced.

(3) Any late payment received within the 10-day period will accrue a late fee of the greater of five percent of the payment or fifty dollars ($50).

(4) If payment is not made within the 10-day period, the entire assessment shall become immediately due and payable, and the board may do either of the following:

a. File a complaint in the circuit court for the county in which the property is located requesting that the property be foreclosed. Thirty days following service of process, unless the entire assessment is paid in the meantime, the court shall enter a decree declaring that the property shall be sold to the highest bidder.

b. Proceed to sell the property against which the assessment is made to the highest bidder for cash.

c. In either case, the property shall be sold in the same manner and upon the same notice as provided by law for the sale of lands or property by foreclosure by power of sale for mortgages. The proceeds from the sale shall first be applied to the amount of the assessment and all accrued interest thereon, plus penalties specified in subdivision (3), plus the attorneys' fees and other expenses incurred by the board in the foreclosure and suit.

(5) If the board concludes that no bidders are present or that all bids are insufficient, the board may announce that the sale shall be continued to a later date to be announced by public notice.

(6) Upon declaring the highest bidder and receipt of the purchase price, the board shall deliver a foreclosure deed to the highest bidder which shall vest therein legal title to the property sold by foreclosure, subject to easement or other rights in such property of persons other than the owner that has failed to pay the assessment. The owner of the property shall have no right of redemption unless otherwise provided in the board's proceedings with respect to the assessment.

(7) The purchase price shall be used first for the payment of the assessment, then for the cost of collection, suit, foreclosure, and deed preparation, then for penalties, then for accrued interest and interest until the next principal payment date of bonds as provided in this chapter with respect to prepayments of assessments, and then for the unpaid principal amount of the assessment, and any remaining portion shall be paid to the owner of the land at the owner's last known address as shown in the records of the tax assessor or revenue commissioner with respect to such tract of land.

(8) The board may bid on any sale the same as any other person, and may credit any portion of the assessment and other costs as a part of its bid.

(9) If the highest amount bid and accepted is insufficient to pay the entire assessment, the board and holders of the bonds shall have no further claim against the owner of the land assessed by virtue of the assessment.

(10) Any foreclosure deed shall make no warranty with respect to the title to the land other than as expressly stated therein.

(11) At any point in the foreclosure proceedings, until a bid is accepted, the board may waive the default on terms as it may consider proper and reinstate the assessment, subject to any contrary terms of the board's proceedings with respect to the bonds.

(Act 99-446, p. 1013, §1; Act 2013-373, p. 1364, §1.)