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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS - Tax Sale

Tax Sale Questions

















  • What is the tax sale?
  • When a delinquent taxpayer fails to pay his/her property taxes on or after January 1st, the Revenue Commissioner must begin the process of preparing to sell the property to satisfy the taxes due.

    After all attempts to notify the property owner of delinquent tax are exhausted, the property is then offered for sale at public auction to the highest bidder in the courthouse on the last Thursday in May.

    By purchasing a parcel of land in a tax sale, you are placing a "Lien" on the property redeemable by the property owner through this office for up to three years from the date of the sale. Upon redemption, the property owner is required to pay the buyer the initial delinquent tax and cost plus any additional property tax the buyer has paid up to the three year redemption period. The property owner is required to pay the buyer interest on the sale amount. The interest rate on tax sale property is 12% annually.

    After the three year redemption period, the owner of the property is no longer able to redeem his/her property through this office and must communicate with the buyer directly.


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  • What happens if I don't pay my taxes?
  • Property tax is due each October 1 and is delinquent after December 31 of each year. All past due accounts receive a $5.00 penalty and begin accruing interest at a rate of 12% annually, compounded daily as of January 1 of each year.

    Alabama State Law requires that property owners with unpaid tax account be notified by certified mail once in February and again in March.

    $5.00 Citation fee added March 1
    $5.00 Citation fee added March 7
    $5.00 Citation fee added day of the tax sale

    Alabama State Tax Law require that all delinquent tax accounts are advertised in a local publication (newspaper)a total of (2)two times in March and (3)three times in May.

    The cost of advertisement and certified mailings are added to unpaid property tax accounts in addition to the citation fees, penalty and interest.

    All delinquent property tax accounts are subject to auction if left unpaid after the last Thursday of May (date of tax sale)

    Before a delinquent account can be paid, an accurate calculation of penalties and interest must be added to the base tax amount. To obtain a payment amount for a delinquent tax account, please contact our Collections Department at 574-8545.


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  • My property was sold in the tax sale.
  • If your property has been sold for delinquent taxes, you now have a "lien" against your property. This property tax lien will not effect your overall "credit score" but must be satisfied before the property can be sold, used as collateral for a loan, transfer ownership, etc.

    Since the property has been auctioned, it must now be redeemed. As the property owner, you are given a period of three (3) years to redeem the property with this office. This is done through our Land Redemption Department.

    Since tax sale properties are charged daily interest, you may call or visit our Land Redemption Department to obtain a "pay-off" price based on what date you plan to redeem the property.

    You will be responsible to pay the buyer the initial delinquent tax and cost plus any additional property tax the buyer has paid during the three year redemption period. You are also required to pay the buyer interest on the sale amount. The interest rate on tax sale property is 12% annually compounded daily.


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  • How can I redeem my property when it sells to an individual?
  • New Redemption Procedures can be downloaded by clicking here


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  • What form is required to redeem properties sold to an individual?
  • The Redemption Affidavit can be downloaded by clicking here


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  • Can I purchase delinquent tax property from the state?
  • When tax sale properties are not auctioned to individual bidders, the Tax Sale Certificate is transferred to the State of Alabama Department of Revenue, Property Tax Division in Montgomery. The property is available for purchase from the state by making application. Below are the rules and procedures which must be followed in order to purchase these delinquent properties.

    LISTING OF PROPERTIES
    The Alabama Department of Revenue maintains a list of all properties available for purchase . You may download a copy of this list on their website: www.revenue.alabama.gov once you have located the site, choose the Divisions and Services heading from the top menu bar. Scroll down and select Property Tax. You will be then be automatically directed to the Property Tax Division page. From this page you may select the county in which you are interested in to view and print delinquent property listings, application procedures and the ADV:LD-2 application form. Directions on how to read the transcript of tax delinquent properties is included on the second page. ADOBE ACROBAT is required to read and download the information.

    REDEMPTION
    The State maintains the same three year anniversary date from the date of the tax sale in which a property owner may redeem his/her property and release the tax lien. During this three year time period, if an individual wishes to purchase a property from the states delinquent list, he/she will receive a "Sale Certificate" from the Revenue Commission of the county in which the property is located. If the three year anniversary date has passed, a "Tax Deed" will be issued by the State Department of Revenue. State issued "Tax Deeds" does not warrant a clear title to the property. The former owner, or any persons claiming through or under the former owner, has liberal and extensive rights to redeem and recover the property from the tax deed holder. It is advisable that the potential purchaser throughly investigate every aspect of the property before making a purchase. The State of Alabama gives no legal, financial, or professional advise as it pertains to properties held by the state and recommends a competent attorney be consulted in any case where legal questions or concerns arise. The Property Tax Division will not be responsible for any action outside of the division's control.

    RULES
    Individuals, Companies, or any party affiliated with the applicant is limited to 20 active applications at any one time in the land sale system. Applicants or an affiliated party who maintain the purchase of a minimum of 10% of properties in which a quote has been issued, may have their applications accepted and processed in a reasonable quantity in access of 20. Applicants or affiliated parties who make purchases but do not maintain the minimum purchase of 10% of the properties quoted, will be limited to the 20 active applications policy.As the applicant or affiliated party receive notice that one or more of the properties applied for has become unavailable because of (redemption by property owner, or other reasons deemed acceptable by the Property Tax Division)they will be allowed to submit another application as replacement for those which have become unavailable.

    An applicant or affiliated party who makes NO PURCHASES after been issued forty consecutive price quotes will forfeit the privilege of having applications accepted or processed for a one year period. All improvements to your property should be reported to the Revenue Commissioner's Office in a timely manner. This can be done by providing our office with a description and value of improvement added. You may report and improvement at any of our office locations. Improvements that are unreported may result in back charges and penalty.


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  • Is there a list of properties sold to individuals who paid more than tax and cost?
  • This excess fund data is not available in electronic format. This information can be gathered by reviewing the printed docket sheets located at 3925 Michael Blvd Suite G in Mobile Alabama.


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  • Annual May newspaper publication ad summary
  • Date Unpaid Words Heading
    Words
    Unknown
    Owners
    Footnote
    Total
    Total Words
    April 25,2011 6757 378496 78   14 378588
    May 2,2011 6407 356337 78   14 356429
    May 9,2011 5997 333649 78   14 333741
    April 26,2010 6780 399510 78   14 399602
    May 3, 2010 6325 364448 78   14 364540
    May 10, 2010 5878 336616 78   14 336708
    April 27,2009 5725 395575 76   11 395662
    May 4, 2009 5284 364362 76   11 364449
    May 11,2009 4869 336388 76   11 336469
    April 28,2008 5130 302673 76   11 302760
    May 5,2008 4644 273541 76   11 273628
    May 12. 2008 4341 253178 76   11 253265


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    Marilyn E. Wood - Mobile County Revenue Commissioner
    Marilyn E. Wood
    Revenue Commissioner