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County Tax Sales FAQ's

What is a county tax sale?

A Tax Sale is a public auction of tax deeds and/or tax liens used to recover delinquent real property taxes.

Why does a County sell tax-defaulted property?

The primary purpose is to collect delinquent taxes. The back taxes, penalties and interest due are recouped by: (1) forcing payment of property taxes by a current property owner via threat of sale, or (2) via a public auction of delinquent property or tax liens. In some states, if a property is sold (tax deed sale) at auction, the proceeds in excess of the taxes and costs of a sale may be claimed by the former owner and other lien holders.

What is an Internet tax sale?

An Internet tax sale is an online public auction of tax deeds or tax certificates used to collect delinquent real property taxes due to a County or other taxing authority. Bids are placed using a computer and a Web browser.

Who can participate in a Bid4Assets county tax sale?

Anyone who wishes to bid at the online public auction must register with Bid4Assets and submit a pre-bid deposit within the posted deadlines to qualify as a bidder.

What is a Tax Deed?

A written document used to convey title to real property after property is sold at public auction by a local governmental authority for nonpayment of taxes.

What is a Tax Deed Sale?

A public auction, mandated by state statute, of tax-defaulted real property. Tax deeds are sold to the highest bidder. Typically, bidding begins at the amount of delinquent taxes, interest charges and related fees due to a County. Click here to view a list of states that conduct tax deed sales on Bid4Assets.

What is a Tax Lien Sale?

A public auction, mandated by state statute, of tax liens. Tax liens are sold for the amount of delinquent taxes, interest charges and related fees due to a County. A tax lien does NOT convey ownership to a property. Rather, it entitles a purchaser to full payment by a delinquent taxpayer of the full lien amount paid at the time of auction plus interest. The percentage interest varies from state to state. If taxes remain delinquent (period of time may vary by state), a purchaser has a right to foreclose on their lien with the hopes of attaining ownership of a property. View list of states that conduct tax lien sales.

What laws govern tax sales?

Tax sales are conducted pursuant to individual state revenue and taxation codes. As a bidder, you are responsible for becoming familiar with the laws pertaining to a tax auction you are participating in.

How much does it cost to participate?

There are no fees to participate in a county tax sale auction; however, Counties require bidders to place bid deposits as a pre-condition to bidding.

How are properties available for so cheap?

The primary purpose of the County Tax Sale auction is the collection of delinquent taxes. The starting price (minimum bid) is set equal to the recorded back taxes and interest only and is irrespective of the property’s assessed value.

What is the redemption period for the properties being auctioned?

The answer depends on the statutes for that jurisdiction/County.

What does it mean if a property is redeemed?

Redeemed properties are those in which the delinquent taxes are paid prior to the issuance of the Tax Deed. If the delinquent taxes are paid prior to the start of the sale, the property will not be offered for sale.

What does it mean if a property is withdrawn?

A property can be withdrawn from an auction at any given point for various reasons. Please make sure to frequently check for updates and postings in regards to withdrawn properties.

How do I know which properties have been withdrawn from the sale?

When a property is withdrawn from a Bid4Assets County Tax Sale auction the word “withdrawn” is added to the auction listing title alerting bidders that the property is no longer available.

Will I be responsible for back taxes owed to the county for property that I purchase?

Each county sale is different. You must read the County Terms of Sale or contact the County directly.

Who is responsible for any mortgages, liens, back taxes, association fees, or other encumbrances attached to the property?

Tax Sale properties may have other, non-county, liens against them. It is the responsibility of the bidder to determine the liabilities that may exist on a property before bidding.

Why is a deposit required to bid on the auction?

A Bid Deposit helps a taxing authority ensure that only qualified and authorized bidders participate in its auction. Funding of a Bid Deposit Account demonstrates a bidder’s ability to comply with a County’s Conditions of Sale and ensures performance of a winning bidder. A winning bidder’s deposit becomes a non-refundable down payment on purchases. However if you do not win any tax sale auctions your deposit will be refunded to you.

What happens to property that is not sold?

The County determines what they want to do with properties that do not sell during the auction. Often Counties will re-offer the unsold properties during their next scheduled County Tax Sale.