FAQs About Tax and Lien Foreclosures

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Tax and lien foreclosures occur when a property owner has failed to cover certain costs related to homeownership and the party that was owned the funds has taken ownership of the property to satisfy the taxes or lien. For lender to get the money owed to them and cover the related costs, including court costs, fees, and interest, they may put the property up for sale, normally using a foreclosure auction. While they are looking to get as much as they can from the property, normally tax and lien foreclosures provide you the opportunity to get a property at a much lower price than a typical sale. If you are just getting started learning about foreclosures, you likely have a lot of questions. Here are a few of the most common ones.

lien foreclosures provide you the opportunity to get a property at a much lower price

Where do the auctions for tax and lien foreclosures take place?

Our sales generally take place at the county courthouse where the property is located, often on the courthouse steps. While you can look at listings online, you cannot put in a bid that way, although you can retain an attorney or agent on your behalf to attend the auction for you if you are not in the area. We have an upset bid form available for download on our website.

If I win the bid, will I own the property free and clear?

When tax foreclosures are done properly, all liens will have been extinguished. If there is a known lien that will stay attached to the property, it will be noted on the Sale Notice. While it is not part of the typical process to get a certified title to the property, for peace of mind, it isn’t a bad idea to have your attorney review the title before auction.

Can I buy a property before the auction?

Properties that have tax and lien foreclosures in place and have had an auction scheduled cannot be purchased by simply paying off taxes and fees. The only way to transfer ownership to you is by being the winning bid at the auction or later purchasing it from whomever becomes the new owner.

Do I have to have all the cash with me to cover my bid if I win?

No, the Sale Notice will outline the minimum deposit you will need to make, in cash or certified funds, as well as the time period and method for handling the balance. You will generally have only 30 minutes to have the deposit funds in hand, so be sure to plan for that or the bid process will start over again.

If you have additional questions about tax and lien foreclosures, turn to us at The Kania Law Firm. We have served North Carolina for 35 years with exceptional legal services. Contact us today to learn more.