Owning a property entails the payment of appropriate property taxes. Failure to do so will result in the auctioning of a lien on your property in a tax sale foreclosure. Consequently, you could lose your property to the highest bidder, who will then bear the responsibility of paying off the debts and equity attached to the property.
But don’t worry. A tax sale foreclosure doesn’t happen without giving you a fair warning and a chance to pay off your obligations. In fact, under Maryland law, you still have the right to redeem your property even if somebody else has already bought the lien on it.
We’ll explain the whole process in this blog post.
The process starts when the tax collector sends you a notification of the possibility of a sale. Inside the document, you’ll find your pending amount, including your taxes and penalties. The tax collector should, under law, send this notice 30 days before initiating a sale.
Afterward, if you fail to pay your amounts, your property will be published in newspapers for a tax foreclosure sale.
The tax sale will then award a tax lien certificate for the property to the highest bidder.. You will then be notified of the sale by your tax collector within 60 days after the sale has occurred. However, the highest bidder won’t have the right to take possession of the property immediately since Maryland law gives you the ability to redeem your tax lien for some time.
Any property sold off in a tax sale foreclosure will then be under a redemption period of 6 months. Under this period, you’ll have the chance to pay your tax liens and buy back your property from the certificate holder.
Furthermore, the certificate holder may file a complaint to foreclose your right to redemption within two months after sending you the first notice and 30 days after sending you the second notice. Take note, though, that the second notice contains the same information sent in the first notice. Furthermore, the second notice cannot be shipped within one week after sending the first notice.
After filing a complaint, the court will then summon you and any other named defendants such as trustees and beneficiaries under a deed of trust. The court will also order the publication of the foreclosure proceeding.
The summons and the publication should be dated no sooner than 60 days from the publication order. It would help if you then answered the complaint or redeemed the property within this given period.
The holder of the certificate of tax sale should also put the notice of the complaint in a visible part of the property. A great example would be your front door or your lawn.
The following information should be found within the notice:
- Reason of complaint and the relief sought
- The property description should be similar to what is located within the records of the tax collector
- Given period to answer the complaint or redeem the property
- Explicit statement that failure to respond or redeem will result in the foreclosure of property redemption.
The sheriff or a private person can do the posting of the notice. A private individual should first file with the court the following details of the posting:
- Name and address of the complainant
- The caption of the case
- Date and time of posting
- Location of the posting with attached pictures of the property with the notice
After the steps above, you will then wait for the judgment of the tax sale foreclosure. The decision shouldn’t be made either before the passage of time after actual service is made on the defendant, the passage of time stated in the publication order.
The holder of the certificate of tax sale should also send a written notice and a copy of the complaint to judgment creditors, occupants, and the tax collector.
The holder will then send a notice of the intention to possess the property to you within 30 days. You’ll have to vacate the property within that period.
The process of a tax sale foreclosure can be challenging. As such, you’ll need to have a tax lien attorney that can get the job done.
Contact our tax sale lawyers at LewisMcDaniels today to help you navigate this complex process.