Frequently Asked Questions


Q: I want to buy a foreclosure property. Where can I find your foreclosure listings?

All of our current foreclosure listings can be found here. If you want to filter by a certain area or county, you can use the search bar to find what you’re looking for.

Q: What is an upset bid?

An upset bid is a bid on the property placed after the initial auction on the courthouse steps during the 10-day upset bid period. The bidding rules are to increase the current bid by 5% or $750.00, whichever is greater. Upset bids must be placed at the county Clerk of Court’s office before the end of the bidding period. The bidding period starts over again every time a new upset bid is placed. You will be required to leave a deposit with the clerk of court of either 5% or $750.00, whichever is greater.

Q: How are upset bids made? And how are funds transferred for the deposit for an upset bid?

All upset bids are taken by the Clerk of Court. Most Clerk’s offices will ask you to file an upset bid form in person. You will also need to bring your deposit with you to place a bid in either certified funds or cash if you win the auction. If the Clerk of Court is holding your bid deposit made for an upset bid you filed with the Clerk, we cannot apply this amount to your bid amount. You must tender the full bid price to us, and when this is done, the Clerk of Court will return your bid deposit back to you. You can download an upset bid form here.

Q: How do I submit a bid assignment for a property that does not have an initial bid? Would I contact you or would I begin the process at the courthouse? Also, if no bids are submitted, when will the propriety be auctioned again?

Bid assignment is facilitated through our office. If you are interested in a bid assignment, please contact our office. Our marketing specialist will be more than happy to assist you through the process. If no bids are placed at public auction, the county or municipality can take title to the property, withdraw the sale until a buyer can be found, or await bid assignment. This decision is made case by case.

Q: If I’ve already placed my bid, but have since discovered a reason not to buy the property, can I cancel my written bid and get my deposit back, or can I cancel and walk from my deposit?

If you are the winning high bidder at public auction, but decide not to complete your purchase of the property, your bid will be defaulted and your deposit will be forfeited and used to cover the cost of resale of the property. Bids are not canceled; just defaulted. If you are outbid at auction, simply stop bidding, and your deposit will be returned to you once the sale has closed. If you are the high bidder and decide not to complete the purchase for your bid, please contact our office as soon as possible so that we can begin the steps necessary to take the property back to auction.

Q: Do you acquire the house/dwelling on the land if you win the bid?

The winning bidder at a public auction will acquire any real property associated with the parcel number and as outlined in the legal description on the notice of sale. Our firm does not perform an inspection of each parcel, so we cannot make any guarantees about the condition of any house or dwelling on the property. Please see the public tax records for additional information about the property you are interested in. Please also note ownership is not transferred until the sale has been confirmed by the clerk and a new deed is recorded.

Q: If there is no other info other than property address, what is status of foreclosure?

If a particular parcel is listed on our foreclosure listings, this means it is an active file with our firm. The typical foreclosure process can take anywhere from 4-7 months until we are ready to set a sale date. If you have specific questions about a particular file, you may email [email protected].

Q: Can your firm do a “Quiet Title” on a property purchased from a tax foreclosure sale?

Our current caseload is such that we are unable to perform any quiet title searches at this time.

Q: I am new to tax foreclosure. How do I get started?

Tax foreclosure properties are sold at public auction. We have important information for bidders detailed at length on our website. We also recommend attending a live auction in a county near you. To see all of our upcoming auctions, please refer to our tax foreclosure sales page. If you still have lingering questions, always feel free to contact our office or email [email protected].

Q: Where do foreclosure auctions take place?

We hold our foreclosure auctions at the County Courthouse where the property in question is located, usually on the courthouse steps. The location of the sale rarely changes, but any change would be noted prior to the sale.

Q: My property has been referred to your office for tax foreclosure. How do I stop the foreclosure action?

To stop a foreclosure action, the taxes and attorney’s fees must be paid in full. Please note that simply paying off taxes and fees does not transfer ownership of the property to one person. It simply stops a foreclosure action. Please contact our office, and we will be happy to walk you through any available options.

Q: Can I buy a property before it goes to public auction?

By law, The Kania Law Firm cannot sell you the property before it goes to auction. A property in foreclosure cannot be bought by paying off taxes and fees currently owing. The sale is what transfers ownership from one party to another. 

Q:  If I win the bid and tender my purchase funds, is the deed I receive clear of all liens?

A tax foreclosure action, if properly conducted, extinguishes all liens, unless otherwise excluded on the Sale Notice.  However, our office does not normally certify title to buyers unless retained to do so by you, so you are encouraged to have your attorney review the title should you have any title concerns.

Q:  I don’t know how much money to bring to the sale, because I don’t know at what  price I might win the bid.  How much time do we have to make the initial deposit after placing the winning bid at the Courthouse sale?

It is highly recommended that you bring at least $750.00 to the sale in cash or certified funds, since this will be  the minimum deposit you need to make, as well as sufficient cash  to cover any additional amounts you may be required to deposit.  If however your funds are insufficient, we will generally wait for up to 30 minutes after the sale for you to obtain additional funds from your bank.  If you fail to return within 30 minutes with your deposit, the bid process will start anew and the property will be resold.

Q: Do you hold tax foreclosure sales in my county?

Feel free to use our tax foreclosure sales page to see if there are active foreclosure files in your county. We currently represent about 20 counties and municipalities in North Carolina.

Website Tutorial: Searching & Sorting Foreclosure Listings


Q: I am an out of state investor. Is there any way your law firm could place a bid for me?

No, we cannot place a bid on your behalf since it would be a conflict of interest. An attorney or agent on your behalf may attend the sale or place an upset bid at the courthouse.

Q: Can I bid for properties online?

All bids must be placed at the county courthouse.

Q: Do I need to register to bid at auction?

No, tax foreclosure auctions in North Carolina are free to the public. The only thing you will need on the day of the sale is your bid deposit in cash or certified funds.

Q: Is the opening bid determined by the law firm or the initial highest bid?

The opening bid is determined by the attorney handling the foreclosure.

Q: After the bid closes, how long do you have to submit the Confirmation of Sale to the court and get the bid confirmed? Is there a deadline? How long does this typically take from end of bidding process to confirmation?

Each tax foreclosure case is unique, but we typically suggest allowing for 30 days after the bid funds are tendered to prepare, file, and get a returned signed copy of the confirmation of sale.

Q: What does it mean when your listing states “Bid Closed, Awaiting Funds”, but the listing is several months or even years old?

This could mean these properties are available for bid assignment by the county. If you are interested, please email [email protected] with the appropriate case number, and we will be happy to assist you with the process.

Q: If you pay the delinquent back taxes on a property, are you are the outright owner of the property?

Simply paying off someone else’s property taxes does not convey ownership of the property to you. You may, however, purchase the property at foreclosure auction, which will also cover the delinquent taxes owed on the property.

Q: How do you find out if there’s a mortgage on a certain property, who’s the mortgage holder and how much is owed?

You may hire an attorney to complete a title search for you.