Tax sales and Sheriff's sales

Indiana Tax Sales

If you are considering buying or have bought a tax lien at an Indiana Tax Sale, you need an attorney experienced in the laws and administrative procedures of Indiana law. Each county in Indiana, through the county auditor and treasurer has the statutory duty to place properties that are delinquent in paying at least the prior Spring taxes (real property taxes are due in the Spring and the Fall) in the county tax sale.

The Tax Sale

Tax sales are a judicial process where the names of property owners who owe delinquent taxes is submitted to a judge who then orders their property is to be “sold” at the county tax sale. Typically, most county tax sales have been held in the Fall, although counties can hold their tax sales at any time during the year and there are online auctions for some county tax sales.

The tax sale is an auction for tax liens on properties at which the starting or minimum bid is the delinquent taxes owed plus the auction costs. Bidders competitively bid to purchase “tax liens” on the properties in the tax sale. Any amount over the minimum bid paid by a successful bidder is “overbid” or “tax sale surplus”. Essentially, tax lien buyers, are paying the real estate taxes and assessments on properties for the right to have a lien against the property.

The Sheriff’s Sale

A sheriff’s sale is the result of a court-ordered foreclosure of a property. After the foreclosure judgment is obtained by the mortgage holder, the court will order the property sold at a sheriff’s sale to attempt to collect the judgment amount. Indiana has very specific laws outlining the sheriff sale process and procedures.  An experienced real estate attorney can guide you through the process to avoid any mishaps or mistakes which may be extremely costly to you.