As you may be aware, the wording on the standard Affidavit of Execution of Tax Lien (Report of Tax Lien as required by RSA 80:64) has been challenged in the court case “Town of Northumberland vs. Gadway.” As a result, you may wish to file a corrective/confirmatory affidavit to your registry of deeds for your 2014 lien prior to September 30th, 2015, just to be safe. More on that below, but first the details as we understand them.
According to Bernie Campbell, attorney for the New Hampshire Tax Collectors’ Association, the court first stated in its preliminary finding in August that the Town’s Affidavit of Execution of Real Estate Tax Lien was deficient due to the fact it was missing the phrase “certified by the tax collector under oath to be true.” The court ultimately reversed its decision on September 14, 2015. However, some are concerned as to whether the affidavit will again become an issue in the future as RSA 80:64 states (emphasis added):
“Each tax collector, within 30 days after executing the tax lien to the municipality, county, or state, shall deliver or forward to the register of deeds for the county in which the real estate is situated a statement of the following facts relating to each parcel of real estate subject to lien, certified by the tax collector under oath to be true; the name of the current owner, if known, or the person against whom the tax was assessed and a description of the property as it appeared on the tax list committed to the tax collector; the total amount of each tax lien, including taxes, interest, fees and costs incident to the tax lien process and making reports thereof to the register of deeds; the date and place of the execution of the tax lien, all of which shall be recorded and indexed by the register of deeds in an acceptable recording method.”
The lingering concern arises from the fact that, although the standard affidavit filed by most municipalities acknowledges the signature of the tax collector, in most cases it is not an “oath” stating the information contained in the document is “true.”
So, what should you do now?
It’s the recommendation of the Tax Collectors’ Association Executive Board that you file a corrective/confirmatory affidavit to your registry of deeds for your 2014 lien prior to September 30th, 2015, which is the deadline for the execution of this year’s tax lien. Your Executive Board will be sending out additional information regarding this court case, which should include recommendations on the wording required for the corrected affidavit.
As for your software, we will be updating the Tax Lien Affidavit to include the “oath” in the next release.
If you have any questions regarding this issue, or need help obtaining the affidavit, give us a call.