SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - Two people were arrested and dozens were removed from a property auction held by the City of Springfield Tuesday night.
Bidding wars were interrupted. And emotions ran high at Tuesday night's property auction for nine homes and several vacant residential lots.
Dozens of people tried to shout down the auctioneer. Most were escorted out by police. Two were arrested.
The City of Springfield had repossessed the properties because the owners failed to pay property taxes.
If you can't pay your property taxes on time, the City does offer a payment plan. But some Springfield residents told 22News that doesn't always help homeowners who are late on their payments.
Sue Gamelli, homeowner who's facing foreclosure right now, told 22News "They say "Oh it's getting better." No, it's not getting better. Springfield hasn't improved. There are other cities across the country, just like us, they haven't been able to improve because employment isn't there."
Jackie Logan of Springfield told 22News "We need more affordable housing. Rent-controlled housing. Low income housing."
Springfield City Treasurer Stephen Lonergan said homeowners are given multiple notices and offered payments plans.
An auction is held only as a last resort.
He said, "Probably guess around 150 payment plans right now, and everybody's making their payments, and they are staying in their homes. That's one of our goals. It's not our goal to take over properties. Frankly, they are better off left in the hands of the homeowners."
Lonergan said Springfield holds about 4 property auctions per year.