THE VILLAGE, Okla. (KFOR) – A house damaged in a fire on Sunday was up for sale at the Oklahoma County Treasurer’s Resale this week.
A man bought it for $100,000, but one citizen voiced his concern because the buyer didn’t know there was fire damage.
The properties at the sale are ones that haven’t had property taxes paid for four years.
“I believe the county treasurer’s office is corrupt,” Mike Reynolds, a concerned citizen, said.
Reynolds eventually helped the man get back his $100,000 back by having him pay the property taxes from 2017.
“I was sick for the gentleman initially, but we did what I believe is necessary for him to recoup most of his money,” Reynolds said.
Oklahoma County Treasurer Butch Freeman says the office simply follows the law.
“I am told that when this piece of property came up for sale, someone from the audience said that house has got fire damage. I have no idea, but that was said. But then we continued the auction, and several people continued to bid on it, and this gentleman paid $100,000,” he said.
He also says it’s not part of the law to check every property.
“That is not the responsibility we are statutorily given. Our statutory responsibility is to collect taxes, and if the taxes are four years in arrear, follow up by selling the property to the highest bidder,” he said.
Freeman also says the main rule is that buyers have to be aware.
“That’s why when you come to the sale, one of the first thing you do is pick up a sheet of paper that gives the rules,” Freeman said.
“They said, ‘don’t you know this is a buyer beware sale.’ If that’s their defense, that’s a horrible defense,” Reynolds said.
The County Treasurer said the ownership of the house won’t change because some of the back taxes were paid. That means if the taxes aren’t paid again next year, the house could go up for sale again.
The Fire Marshal is still investigating the cause of the fire, but no one was inside at the time.