Tax Foreclosure Sale Frequently Asked Questions

The following contains general answers to Tax Foreclosure Sale Frequently Asked Questions that apply to most counties. Counties have slight variations in the starting time‚ acceptable forms of payment and time frame in which payment must be made as well as other conditions. After reading these Frequently Asked Questions‚ bidders should refer to the county in which they intend to bid to familiarize themselves with that county’s procedures.

The following is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal advice or services. It is not intended to create any attorney-client relationship. We cannot represent you and our taxing unit clients at the same time. Do not act on any of the following information without seeking the advice and counsel of an attorney of your choice.

Q: When and where are tax foreclosure sales held?

Tax sales are conducted by the sheriff or a constable of the county where the property is located. The Texas Rules of Civil Procedure require sales be held on the first Tuesday of the month‚ between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. at a place designated by the Commissioner’s Court. The notices posted in the tax sale area of this website give the approximate starting time of the sale.

Q: Is there a minimum bid?

The minimum bid is the total of the taxes‚ penalties‚ interest‚ costs and fees in the delinquent tax judgment or the most recent tax appraised value of the property as determined in the judgment‚ whichever is less. The notices posted in the tax sale area of this website contain an estimated minimum bid if that information is available.

Q: Who is eligible to bid?

The commissioners court for the county in which the sale is being held may require that‚ to be an eligible bidder‚ a person must be registered as a bidder with the county tax assessor–collector before the sale begins. Please check with the county tax assessor–collector for the interested county for any registration or other required conditions.

Q: What proof is a bidder required to show that no delinquent taxes are owed?

Bidders must request a written statement from the county tax assessor-collector of no delinquent taxes due. Most collectors offices provide a form with the required information.

Q: What happens if a successful bidder owes delinquent taxes?

The officer conducting the sale cannot sign or deliver a deed to the successful bidder unless the bidder shows the officer a written statement from the county tax assessor-collector stating that the bidder has no delinquent taxes due.

Q: What is acceptable payment?

Please refer to the specific county in which you intend to bid for more information regarding acceptable payment. Sales are for cash and most counties will accept cash or cashier’s checks. If the cash price is not paid within that time‚ the sale will be reconvened in time to complete the sale before 4:00 p.m.

Q: What kind of deed does the successful bidder receive?

Purchasers receive a sheriff or constable‚Äôs deed that is without warranty and subject to the owner’s statutory right of redemption.

Bidders should satisfy themselves concerning title and location of the property and improvements on the property including any encroachments prior to bidding.

Q: How long is the redemption period?

The redemption period is two years for homestead property‚ agriculture use property and mineral interests and 180 days on all other types of property.

Q: When does the redemption period begin to run?

The redemption period begins to run when the sheriff or constable’s deed is filed for record with the county clerk.

Q: When is the purchaser entitled to possession of the property?

The purchaser is entitled to immediate possession of the property. However‚ if the property is occupied‚ the purchaser will have the opportunity to lease it to the occupant or evict the occupant through legal proceedings.

Q: What if the property owner files bankruptcy?

All sales are subject to possible prior bankruptcy filings that may have been filed just minutes prior to the sale. For example‚ if the tax sale is conducted at 10:00 a.m.‚ but the prior owner filed bankruptcy at 9:30 a.m. the same day‚ the tax sale will be set aside even though the tax assessor-collector’s office did not have actual knowledge of the bankruptcy.

Q: What about taxes not included in the delinquent tax judgment?

Taxes becoming delinquent after the judgment are not included in the minimum bid and must be paid by the purchaser.

Q: What if there are environmental problems on the property?

Purchasers at tax sales become responsible for any environmental hazards on the property.