NOTICES TO BIDDERS & PURCHASERS AT DELINQUENT TAX SALE
The goal of the delinquent tax sale is to sell the properties to satisfy the delinquent tax amount including court costs, attorney’s fees and publication costs, etc. There are many inherent risks in a tax sale therefore the notices herein are aimed at minimalizing any risk of a sale being set aside and, more importantly, avoiding litigation.
THE CONTENT HEREIN IS PROVIDED ONLY AS A COURTESY AND DOES NOT CONSTITUTE LEGAL ADVICE AND MAY NOT BE RELIED ON AS SUCH. NOR IS IT A FULL INTERPRETATION OF THE STATUTES. IF YOU HAVE SPECIFIC QUESTIONS ABOUT ANY LAW, YOU SHOULD CONSULT THE TENNESSEE CODE ANNOTATED OR CONSULT AN ATTORNEY.
- Due Diligence. It cannot be stressed enough the importance of having done your due diligence prior to the tax sale, including personally inspecting the property, researching the title and liens, and consulting an attorney if you have questions.
- Changes to the Law. Since its formation in 2011, the Tennessee Association of Property Tax Professionals has been working with the Tennessee General Assembly to update the laws surrounding delinquent property tax proceedings. Many changes to the laws have been made during that time and will continue to be made. You should not assume any statute is the same as it was at the last delinquent tax sale.
- No Attorney-Client Relationship Exists. The Delinquent Tax Attorney represents Washington County, Tennessee. No attorney-client relationship exists between the Delinquent Tax Attorney and any potential or actual tax sale bidders, tax sale purchasers, taxpayers, lienholders, etc. The Clerk and Master will answer any questions to the extent she may without crossing the line into giving advice. All persons with questions about the delinquent tax sale process, title questions, etc. are strongly urged to consult an attorney of their choosing.
- Records Searches. The Delinquent Tax Attorney is required by Tenn. Code Ann. §67-5-2502(c)(2) to make a diligent search of the records of certain county offices to determine if there are liens against a property and, if so, give notice to the lienholder. No assurances of title, existence or non-existence of liens, etc., are made to potential or actual tax sale bidders, tax sale purchasers, taxpayers, lienholders, etc. by virtue of these searches and such parties may not rely on any information therein. It is strongly recommended that prospective bidders and prospective purchasers do their own due diligence prior to coming to the sale.
SEARCHES MADE IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE STATUTE ARE FOR THE USE OF THE DELINQUENT TAX ATTORNEY AND CLERK & MASTER ONLY; THEY ARE NOT MADE FOR THE BENEFIT OF POTENTIAL TAX SALE BIDDERS AND ARE NOT TO BE RELIED UPON BY POTENTIAL TAX SALE BIDDERS.
- Published Properties Not Available at Tax Sale. Some properties in the Notice of Sale published in the newspaper(s) may not be available for sale at the Delinquent Tax Sale. The most common reasons are:
- The delinquent taxes were paid after the publication.
- The delinquent taxpayer filed bankruptcy.
- The Delinquent Tax Attorney has sufficient uncertainty as to the state of the title of the property. Possible reasons include, but are not limited to, the legal sufficiency of a deed, the accuracy of a deed description or the correct parties to the deed having sufficient notice.
- Redemption. Taxpayers, lienholders and other “interested persons” as defined in Tenn. Code Ann. §6752702(c)(1)(B), have the right to redeem the property within ONE (1) YEAR FROM THE DATE OF THE ENTRY OF THE ORDER CONFIRMING SALE. The redemption period may be shortened under certain circumstances. The burden is on the tax sale purchaser to petition the Court to shorten the redemption period.
- Improvements Made During the Redemption Period. Expenses incurred by a tax sale purchaser for improvements made to the property may not be reimbursable from the taxpayer upon redemption. Refer to Tenn. Code Ann. §67-5-2701(e) for the items a tax sale purchaser may be able to recover from the taxpayer upon redemption.
- Structures and Content on Parcels Offered for Sale. Neither the Delinquent Tax Attorney nor the Clerk & Master make any representations as to the existence of structures upon a parcel of land, nor the contents or the condition of any structures, etc., that may be situated on the parcel. You should not rely exclusively on the records of the Office of the Washington County Assessor of Property or Tennessee Comptroller’s office (i.e. the “Tennessee Property Data Homepage”). It is not uncommon for such records to indicate the existence of a structure(s) upon a parcel when in fact the structure(s) have since been damaged, destroyed or removed from the parcel. It is your responsibility to personally visually inspect a parcel if you desire. The purchase price cannot be refunded if the property is not as the purchaser believed it was.
- Quiet Title Actions. Tenn. Code Ann. §67-5-2404(d)(4) expressly authorizes tax sale purchasers to initiate a quiet title action to eliminate any doubt about title obtained through a tax sale purchased. You should consult an attorney about the benefits and requirements.
- Sales Are Final; No Refund of Purchase Price: The sale of a parcel is final upon the announcement of the successful bidder. No refunds can be made. Payment must be made to the Clerk and Master no later than 4:00 p.m. on March 10,2022
- Deeds. Deeds may be requested from the Delinquent Tax Attorney for an additional fee per court order. The Order Confirming Sale shall act as a Deed if none is requested.