County Tax Sale Bungled by Local Officials

County Tax Sale Bungled by Local Official

Local Officials Mess Up the County Tax Sale

You’d think that if your only job was to run the county tax sale each year, or several times a year, you’d be able to pull it off without making any major mistakes.

Sure, with thousands of properties going through the county tax sale, there are bound to be little technical mistakes here and there. Let’s look at some unbelievably big mistakes that have been made lately.

As usual, when it comes to government incompetance and inefficiency of any type, Lake County, Indiana is a great place to start your search.

Lake County officials sold over $1.3 million dollars in tax liens at their most recent county tax sale in June 2010 and had to REFUND THE ENTIRE AMOUNT! Why?

Some arcane county tax sale rule?

Not really. According to the Northwest Indiana Times, the county had to “pay those holding worthless tax sale certificates the amount they bid with interest and legal fees incurred…”, because “state law requires the county to advertise notice of a tax sale in two local newspapers. However, ads were published in only one.”

So not only did the county have to refund the entire tax sale, but they had to provide interest and legal fee reimbursement to everyone who bid at that sale.

Legal fees often run higher that the amount of the tax certificate at this type of sale, by the way!

In addition to county officials frequently bungling the county tax sale process, tax sale buyers also often have obligations which are not met properly. This leads to a potential to void their particular purchase(s) from the county tax sale.

The reason I bring up this phenomenon is that a major part of my strategy is to buy properties from tax delinquent owners just prior to the final deadline to pay taxes. This deadline is typically a tax deed sale or the end of the redemption period after a county tax sale.

By realizing that proper noticing has to be done by the county and often the tax sale buyer, I have sometimes audited this noticing and been able to void tax sales against properties I’ve bought.

Look for smaller, first time tax sale buyers (you can review past bidder lists and see who the new kids on the block are), and go through the noticing they submit to the court.

If you can find deficiencies, contact the owners of these properties and offer to pay a small amount for the property and then overturn the sale. Alternatively, “partner up” with these owners and participate in half the eventual sales price of the property if you can overturn the sale.

The county tax sale is filled with hidden opportunities, and you can get acquaited with all of them when you get my report “Underground Tax Sale Strategies” – do it now by putting your email address in form below!

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