The information provided below is of a general nature, and it is intended to give prospective purchasers of tax delinquent properties some understanding of how the purchase process for upset sales works, and what a purchaser may expect to occur if a property is purchased. This information is not be be construed as an exhaustive treatment of all intricacies of the tax sale law, nor should it be taken as an answer to any question which a prospective purchaser may have. Hopefully, those who read this information will have a better idea of how the purchase process works; however, it is strongly recommended that if the reader should have any questions not sufficiently answered by the information provided, he or she should consult an attorney.
Tax delinquent properties are advertised for sale in newspapers, and the sale is conducted by the Delaware County Tax Claim Bureau (“the Bureau”) pursuant to the Real Estate Tax Sale Law and any conditions of sale set by the Bureau.
For the upset sale, the minimum bid must be enough to cover all unpaid taxes, costs and municipal liens and claims. If you buy a property in the upset sale, mortgages and liens on the property remain in effect, even though you have paid all taxes that were due.
There are a few situations that prospective purchasers should be aware of:
The fact that a property is advertised for sale in the newspaper does not mean that the property will be exposed for sale on the day of sale. Many delinquent owners pay their back taxes before the sale date, at which point their properties are taken off the sale list. In addition, delinquent owners sometimes secure court orders to stay the sale. Those properties are also removed from the sale list. The sale of these properties may be continued to a later date.
Even if a property is purchased at the sale, the delinquent owner still has the right to go to court to contest the sale of his or her property. Frequently, delinquent owners claim that they failed to receive proper notice of the sale. If the court finds this is true, the sale is set aside, and the purchaser gets his/her money back.
Prospective purchasers at tax sales should be aware that they could consult with an attorney prior to the sale to get more detailed information concerning what they may expect in purchasing properties. Of key importance is to learn the rights of tax delinquents to challenge the sales in court.
If you are interested in bidding on a property at the upset sale, please do the following: