Tuesday, September 10, is the last day for the owners of mobile homes in Missoula to pay off delinquent taxes from 2012.

Missoula County Delinquent Tax Collection Clerk Annie Cathey said that mobile homes that are not paid up, will be auctioned off on Wednesday, and many may go for extremely low prices.

"[The price] starts at what the county is owed," Cathey said. "So the cost will start at what those delinquent taxes are, and then the bidding goes up in $10 increments. For example, last year I had homes that sold for as little as $150, and I had other homes that sold for $16,000 and $18,000."

Those that purchase homes at the auction need to be aware of the type of situation they may be getting into.

"Most of these do have residents living in them," Cathey said. "If you purchase a mobile home at the auction, you are responsible to find out if the home can stay on the lot, or if it has to be moved. You are also responsible for going through the eviction process if someone is living in the home, to have them removed from the home."

Last week nearly 800 mobile homes were scheduled to be auctioned off, but that number had dropped to 84 by Monday, September 9. Some of the delinquent taxes on those homes were paid, but other mobile homes just vanished as their owners drove them out of the county.

Cathey explained that each September, about 40 to 50 homes are auctioned off. She also noted that every year for the past five years, the total number of those delinquent on their taxes has gone down from as high as 1,500 in 2008 to 800 for 2012.

The auction will be held at the county administration building at 199 West Pine Street in Missoula at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, September 11.

Annie Cathey: