A real estate surveyor’s home in Georgia could be auctioned if the state’s debt crisis does not resolve in a few months, but that would not solve the problems of foreclosure and a property tax bill that has already cost the state $15 million.
A bill that the House Judiciary Committee approved on Thursday is expected to be introduced to the state Legislature soon and would change the way property owners are compensated for their homes, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The bill would allow property owners to collect on their debt to the Georgia Revenue Department by selling their home and paying down a debt that could reach as high as $150,000.
The proposed change to the law would allow owners to sell their homes at a profit if they had to sell to pay off the debt, but it would also make it a crime for the seller to make any other payment or interest to the Department of Revenue.
Under the proposed bill, the seller would not have to sell a house to pay the debt.
Instead, the owner would have to get the buyer to write off the remaining balance on the loan.
A property surveyor is pictured at his property in Savannah, Georgia.
A bill passed by the House of Representatives would allow homeowners to sell and pay off their debts to the federal government, the Georgia Department of Financial Services, and the state.
The bill also requires the owner to get a borrower to write down any interest the lender may have on the property.
Georgia Revenue Department Secretary Jody Davis told lawmakers that the debt collection rate in the state is at the lowest levels in the country.
Davis said the average collection rate for a homeowner is around 30 percent.
The Georgia Legislature has been considering a property-tax bill that would be designed to help lower the state debt load and reduce foreclosures.
The Senate on Wednesday passed a bill that, among other things, would allow for a homeowners association to purchase the property and pay the owner a portion of the sale price.
The measure was also passed by both chambers of the Georgia House of Delegates, but the Senate rejected the measure because it did not go far enough to address the problem.
The House Judiciary committee approved the bill Thursday.
House Speaker J.C. Andrews, R-Savannah, told reporters that it was a compromise that would allow the homeowner to sell his home.
“It’s going to be a great way for the state to get on the road to a balanced budget,” Andrews said.