Section 77B. The mayor of any city or the selectmen of any town which holds property acquired by foreclosure of tax titles or acquired under section eighty may appoint a custodian who shall have the care, custody, management and control of all property heretofore or hereafter so acquired by said city or town. The custodian shall serve during the pleasure of the mayor or selectmen and shall receive as his compensation, if any, a sum fixed by the mayor or by the selectmen.
The custodian, acting on behalf of the city or town, may, notwithstanding any provision of law, ordinance or by-law inconsistent herewith, sell at public auction any such property, first sending a notice thereof as herein provided to the owner of record immediately prior to the acquisition by the city or town of the title to such property. Such notice shall contain a description of the property to be sold sufficient to identify it, shall state the date, time and place appointed for the sale thereof and the terms and conditions of such sale, and shall be sent by registered mail to the address of such owner as appearing upon the records of the assessors of the city or town, at least fourteen days before such sale. The custodian shall also, not less than fourteen days before such appointed date, post a similar notice in two or more convenient and public places in the city or town. Failure to send or to post a notice as herein provided, or any insufficiency in the notice sent or posted, shall not invalidate the title to any property sold hereunder. The custodian may reject any and all bids at such sale or any adjournment thereof if in his opinion no bid is made which approximates the fair value of the property, and he may adjourn the sale from time to time for such periods as he deems expedient, giving notice thereof at the time and place appointed for the sale or for any adjournment thereof. After any such sale and upon payment by the purchaser to the city or town of the amount of a bid accepted by the custodian, the treasurer of said city or town shall, on its behalf, execute and deliver any instrument necessary to transfer the title of the city or town to any such property sold under this section. This section shall not be construed to prevent a city or town from disposing of such property under section three of chapter forty, or in any other manner authorized by law.
Any officer or board which executes a deed to convey property acquired by a city or town by foreclosure of a tax title or under section eighty, shall not execute such deed to any person unless such person has submitted to said board or officer a statement signed under the pains and penalties of perjury that neither he nor any person who would gain equity in the property as a result of such conveyance has ever been convicted of a crime involving the willful and malicious setting of a fire or of a crime involving the aiding, counseling or procuring of a willful and malicious setting of a fire, or of a crime involving the fraudulent filing of a claim for fire insurance; or is delinquent in the payment of real estate taxes to the city or town in which the property is being sold, or if delinquent, that a pending application for abatement of such tax, or a pending petition before the appellate tax board or the county commissioners has been filed in good faith. If there is more than one grantee of such deed, each grantee must file such statement, and no such deed shall be valid unless it contains a recitation that the board or officer granting the deed has received such statement.
If the custodian is of the opinion that a sale of any such property is not immediately practicable, the custodian, acting on behalf of the city or town, may, subject to the approval of the mayor or the selectmen, notwithstanding any provision of law, ordinance or by-law inconsistent herewith, lease such property for a term not exceeding three years, and may on behalf of the city or town execute and deliver such lease.
The custodian, subject to appropriation, may employ one or more assistants as may be necessary for the proper performance of his duties. Such assistants shall receive as compensation such amounts as may be approved by the mayor or by the selectmen.