Questions to Ask the County

Questions to Ask the County

Questions for the County Tax Authority

1. Who handles tax liens for the county (Treasurer, Sheriff, or Tax Assessor)?

2. Does the county use tax lien certificates or tax deeds?

3. How often are tax sales held? (If they offer both tax lien certificates and tax deeds, you should find out how often each occurs)

4. When is the next auction?

5. Where will the tax sale be held? ( online or at a specific location - get the street address, building name, floor and room number)

6. When and where is the public notice of tax sales posted?

7. Does the auction take place in one day or over several days?

8. What is required to be a bidder at the auction? How much do you require upfront? How soon after the end of the auction must the funds be paid for the tax lien? What method of payment is required?

9. Is it possible to buy tax certificates or deed through the mail?

10. If all the liens are not sold at auction, do you sell them over the counter? If not, what do you do with them?

11. How does the foreclosure proceed if the property owner fails to redeem a tax lien certificate?

12. What interest rate or penalty must be paid on the tax lien certificate in order for it to be redeemed by the delinquent tax payer?

13. Can a person be put on a list to get future notices of upcoming tax lien sales?

14. At the tax lien sale, what are you bidding on? (In some states, you bid the
interest rates down, in others you bid the purchase price up).

15. Is there a redemption period and how long is it?

Foreclosure procedure

In addition to the 15 questions, you will want to ask the county employee for details about their tax lien foreclosure process.

An example might be:

Slide #8: How does the foreclosure proceed if the property owner fails to redeem
the property? Then follow up with a series of other questions to clarify the process.

a. Who pays for the foreclosure?

b. When can the foreclosure procedure begin?

c. Does the foreclosure go through a public auction?

d. Do all lien holders need to be notified before the foreclosure can be completed?

e. What kind of deed is given after foreclosure?

f. Is this type of deed eligible for title insurance?


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