Delinquent property taxes

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  • Has anyone bought a property due to the current owners delinquent property taxes? I’m located in Wisconsin. Thanks.

    Hi Nickolas,

    I am a Realtor/investor in Mississippi interested in delinquent property taxes. I have worked a little with people who purchase delinquent taxes at the tax sale. They typically purchase for the interest paid by the property owner when they redeem the taxes. Every year, our county will send a list of not redeemed properties. The Secretary of State website had some basic information on the process. Liz Corkren

    I bought a house in November of last year, 2021, that was posted for a property tax sale auction. I just bought a condo/townhouse yesterday, also posted for a tax sale auction. The first sale closed a day before the auction, and the 2nd closed 2 biz days before the auction date.

    I find that just because someone owes past due property taxes, they don’t necessarily want to, or are mentally ready to sell. The local tax office might have payment plans available for the property owners and have a fare degree of leniency before they get serious and post the house for an auction. Around here I’ve seen the county wait for a year or two after they obtained a court judgment, and before they finally put the property up for an auction.

    I should also mention that both properties were un-probated estates. I.e., I bought them from children of the deceased owners. One of them had a large state lien against the estate that I had to negotiate down to make the deal work. In other words, unless there are complications, it’s hard to stand out of the crown of other investors who are chasing after the same folks whose properties are publicly posted for an auction sale.

    I was able to project plenty of experience to solve the legal and title problems for the heirs in an efficient and speedy manner (2-3 weeks in Texas from posting of sale to the auction), and that’s what allowed me to get the contracts signed ahead of the competition.

    The line in the sand between reasonable (and affordable) fines versus outrageously high fines intended to be unpayable and a easy theft by cities looking to pad their coffers is sometimes extremely blurry. This article covers such wars in detail:

    The Dunedin, Florida municipal fines plunder machine

    Even my own little town in Texas back in 2017 adopted something pompously called the “International Code of Property Maintenance” whereby Code Enforcement can threaten homeowners with fines up to $2,100/per day per citation. That’s an amount in this state that’s about the same as courts issuing fines for life-threatening DWIs. It quickly turns into municipal plundering.

    –Dee G


    I’ve been investing for years, I’ve done private money loans near my home, and more recently, the default of taxes on a property on behalf of borrower help me expedite my foreclosure not only on that particular property which was subordinate collateral for another loan.

    But also I was able to get around state laws, in my area. The governors are democratic and they love to protect the occupants.

    Be sure to know and check the laws in your area for your own safety.

    Dan Butler

    I’ve bought several properties at the tax auctions in TX and MO. I got my best deals during the recession years, particularly 2009 and 2010. The other years were not nearly as good for finding bargains. If you’re thinking about doing this type of investing, I would wait about a year. The economy seems to be in steep decline right now.

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