Tax Sale - Redemption by Owners

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Property owners may redeem their property any time prior to the issuance of a court decree foreclosing the right of redemption. All redemption fees must be paid by certified funds. To redeem property, owners must pay the amount paid by the bidder at tax sale, additional interest of 6% per annum (calculated from the day of the sale to the day of redemption) and any new taxes that have accrued. If the property is redeemed after four (4) months from the date of Tax Sale, the bidder may also charge legal fees and expenses to the property owner. In this case, the property owner must obtain a Letter of Release prior to redemption.

Purchasers can begin foreclosure proceedings six (6) months and one (1) day from the date of sale, and have up to two years from the date of the certificate of sale to start these proceedings. The owner or other person having an estate or interest in the property sold has the right to redeem the property tax lien at any time until the right of redemption is finally foreclosed by an order of the Circuit Court (Section 14-827). During this period of redemption, the owner of the property has the right to continue in possession of and to exercise all rights of ownership until such time as the right of redemption is foreclosed (Section 14-830).

To redeem a property tax lien, the owner shall:

    1. Determine the redemption amount and the need to obtain a release for actual and reasonable expenses from the certificate of sale holder by calling the County Treasurer’s Office at 240-313-2110.
    2. During the first four months after the date of the tax sale, properties may be redeemed without payment of the expenses of the certificate of sale holder, including legal fees;
    3. Reimburse the certificate of sale holder for actual and reasonable expenses incurred after a four month waiting period in preparation for any action to foreclose the right of redemption, and obtain a release from the certificate of sale holder, the plaintiff, or their attorney, that all reimbursable fees and expenses, if any, were satisfied; and
    4. Present the release to the Collector and pay all redemption amounts due described below and all taxes in arrears after the tax sale to bring the tax account current. The redemption amount includes the amount due at tax sale, any interest computed from the date of the tax sale to the date of the redemption payment (Section 14-828), and reimbursement to the certificate of sale holder for actual and reasonable expenses incurred after a four month waiting period in preparation for any action to foreclose the right of redemption, including fees paid for recording the certificate of sale, for actual and reasonable attorney's fees for each certificate of sale, for expenses incurred in the publication and service of process by publication, for reasonable fees for a necessary title search, and for taxes (together with interest and penalties) arising after the date of sale that have been paid by the plaintiff or the holder of the certificate of sale (Section 14-843). The current redemption interest rate, as stated on the certificate of sale, is 6 percent per annum. Redemption payment must be made by certified check, cashier's check, money order, or cash to Washington County Treasurer.

When all redemption obligations are satisfied by the owner, the Collector shall:

    1. Notify the holder of the certificate of sale that the property was redeemed and that the certificate must be surrendered to the Collector prior to payment of any amount; and
    2. Upon receipt of the certificate of sale, the County will remit all money received for redemption and the high bid premium to the holder of the certificate (Section 14-828(c)).
    3. Redemption payments will only be made for those properties that the certificate of sale has been returned to the County.
    4. The County will refund the high-bid premium, without interest, to the holder of the tax sale certificate on redemption of the property tax lien or to the plaintiff in an action to foreclose the right of redemption on delivery of a tax sale deed for the property for which the high-bid premium was paid. The high-bid premium is not refundable after the time required (under Section 14-833) for the filing of an action to foreclose the right of redemption, if there has been no redemption and if an action to foreclose the right of redemption has not been filed within that time.

If an action by the holder of the certificate to foreclose the right of redemption was filed and there is a dispute regarding redemption, an order of the Court is required before the County will release payment (Section 14-829).

Suggested format for this release are attached. The property owner is provided with the telephone number of the purchaser of the certificate of sale and is required to secure such release.