Have your property taxes been sold?
The tax sale process
Like many other states, Mississippi counties collect property taxes. The county holds a local overbid auction to sell delinquent property taxes to investors. This is an efficient way for the county to continue to stay above water, and for investors to obtain a solid investment fixed at a set rate. State statutes set the rate at 1.5 percent per month (18% APR), and the county collects the payment and returns the money to the investor. Not a bad deal!
What happens if the taxes are never paid? Property owners have have a couple of years to redeem the sale. When this doesn’t happen, the sale matures and the purchaser gets a tax deed. Depending on the value of the property, tax deeds have a certain face value. If the owner repeatedly fails to pay the taxes, then the tax deeds can be negotiated to one investor who may be interested in obtaining the property by petitioning the courts.
Cleaning up the title
This is a complicated legal process. The investor has to petition the chancery court of the county and notice the property owner (oftentimes the owner’s estate) or other interested parties; such as known heirs and creditors. Unknown interested parties must be noticed by publication.
A change in the law: a new way to invest
As of 2018, Mississippi began implementing an electronic bid system. Before this, an investor had to physically appear at a live auction. With the online system, hopefully the county and the investors can save time and money. At the Panter Law Firm, we can guide you through the process, whether you are a property owner or heir, or an investor.
For an overview of ad valorem (Latin for “according to value,” the taxes you pay for county property, school district, water districts, etc.), click here. Give us a call at Panter Law Firm, PLLC.
Panter Law Firm, PLLC, 7736 Old Canton Road, Suite B, Madison, MS 39110