Archived Story

Burcham negotiates bulk tax lien sale

Published 10:31am Friday, September 27, 2013

The sale of tax liens of 310 county parcels could take place by November that would put more than $1 million into the county’s treasury.

Approximately 75 percent of those proceeds would go to county’s public schools and Open Door School.

“We are awaiting the final review of the contract by the prosecutor’s office,” County Treasurer Stephen Burcham said.

For the past five months Burcham has been in negotiations with TaxEase of Cincinnati to buy the liens on properties whose owners have been delinquent for at least two years.

However, before TaxEase can purchase the liens, the owners of the properties must be notified 30 days in advance of the sale to give them one last opportunity to redeem the properties.

“We will send out letters to the property owners to give them a chance to come in and pay the taxes,” Burcham said. “TaxEase will purchase the remainder.”

In a tax lien sale the buyer bids on an interest rate he or she can charge the property owner should that person wish to redeem their property. At a sale the interest rate starts at 18 percent and goes down by a quarter of a percent.

In the sale with TaxEase that percentage rate was negotiated to be at 17.5 percent.

Normally in a tax lien sale the lienholder can foreclose after 12 months if the parcel owners do not redeem the property. Then it would be offered at a sheriff’s sale. If the parcel does not sell after being offered twice at a sheriff’s sale, then the title would go to the lienholder.

In the TaxEase sale the time period was extended to 18 months.

“Most of those on the sale have not communicated to us about any financial hardship,” Burcham said. “If they do, we would like to hear from them and we would help them out. We try to work with the property owners.”

TaxEase also works with property owners and the company typically forecloses on less than 2 percent of the parcels whose liens it purchases.

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