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Disabled veteran ‘appears’ to be getting home back following auction sale

(KTAR News/Taylor Kinnerup)

PHOENIX — It appears a disabled veteran will keep his Mesa home after a mix-up over tax payments led to it being sold in an auction, Deputy Maricopa County Treasurer Ron Bellus told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Friday.

James Boerner, 49, owed taxes from 2017 and 2018 and was told they were due by June 30, according to the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.

But the home was sold at an auction to a new owner on June 20.

On Friday, however, the new owner was contacted and agreed to sell back the home for $25,000, which Boerner did not possess, according to Bellus.

In an effort to keep the veteran in his home, Maricopa County Treasurer Royce Flora had agreed to pay the amount with his own money.

But a resolution between Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, the Arizona Treasurer and the MCSO has been agreed upon, according to Bellus.

“When I was relaying that information [about Flora offering to pay] to the treasurer, we got a phone call from County Attorney Bill Montgomery,” Bellus said. “He said ‘hold off, don’t do anything, we have a plan to resolve this problem.’

“The resolution was talked about and agreed, and that information has been agreed to be transferred.”

According to Bellus, the county attorney will work with Boerner’s attorney to resolve the issue in court, which will include a stay of eviction and an eventual reversal of the sale.

“The best way to say it is that it appears that this has been resolved, but it’s going to go through a court process, and the attorneys are working on it to keep him in his home,” Bellus said.

There was also another reason as to why the home was sold at an auction.

Boerner paid the 2017 taxes on June 13, but the payment did not post with the treasurer’s office until after the new owner purchased the home, MCSO said.

“The key notation is that Mr. Boerner’s payment did not clear the treasurer’s system until after the sale funds had been accepted by the Treasurer’s Office earlier in the day,” an MCSO spokesman said at a press conference Wednesday.

Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Mac & Gaydos on Thursday that he was working with Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery to consider options.

He added that he wants to improve communication between MCSO and the treasurer’s office to cut down on potential issues like Boerner’s.

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