In most instances, a tax sale foreclosure action may be filed six months after the date of the tax sale. Depending on their investment strategy, a tax lien holder may want to file as soon as possible or delay filing a foreclosure action, in order to allow their tax lien interest to accrue. In any event, a foreclosure action must be filed within two years from the date of the tax sale or the tax sale certificate is void.
Tax sale foreclosure process
The tax sale foreclosure process typically begins when the tax lienholder sends out the pre-suit notices. These notices are mailed to certain parties that hold an interest in the property, such as the owner(s) and lender(s), and must be sent if the certificate holder seeks reimbursement of their legal fees and expenses. Two rounds of noticing for each lien are required.
After two months have elapsed from the date of the first notices, a foreclosure action may be filed in the Circuit Court for the county in which the property is located. The foreclosure action usually takes between nine and 12 months.
Upon filing, the court will process the complaint (a “Complaint to Foreclose Right of Redemption”) and issue a docket number. The tax lienholder (or their attorney) then must satisfy all of the statutory requirements for tax foreclosures. Among other things, the lienholder must serve all defendants with copies of the court papers, post notice on the property, and publish notice in a qualifying local newspaper.
If the tax sale certificate holder has met all of the statutory requirements and the property is not redeemed, the lienholder then moves for judgment. The court reviews the case documents and, if the court is satisfied that the lienholder has satisfied all requirements, it will issue a judgment foreclosing the right of redemption and directing the tax office to issue a deed to the certificate holder upon payment of the amounts required to pick up the tax deed.
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