Archived Story

Negotiated lien sale set for Jan. 13

Published 1:25pm Thursday, December 12, 2013

Close to $1 million in back taxes could be back in the county coffers by the first of year following a negotiated tax lien sale set for Monday, Jan. 13.

For the past three years Lawrence County Treasurer Stephen Burcham has conducted tax lien sales as a way to collect back taxes. Before each sale property owners who are in arrears have a chance to pay the delinquency. If they do not, those who buy the tax liens pay those back taxes, accrued interest and administrative fees.

That will be the same case for the negotiated sale, except the liens on those parcels still delinquent will be purchased by TaxEase, a Cincinnati company that purchases such liens.

“Ideally those individuals (owing back taxes) will come in and make a payment and clear up their obligation,” Burcham said. “Any remaining unpaid balances will be sold to TaxEase.”

For this sale there are 297 parcels with a value of $954,690 in delinquent taxes.

A certified letter went out to all those property owners on Tuesday stating the negotiated sale would be in January. They have until Friday, Jan. 10, to come in and redeem their property.

This sale is called negotiated because it is not going to a public auction and is with a single buyer for a bulk sale.

“We are negotiating with one party,” Burcham said. “In either case, they would pay the same amount as the taxpayer would. It doesn’t refer to the amount of tax, but the terms of the sale that includes a single buyer. In this case, they will administer the collection process for the tax liens they purchase.”

On those liens sold to TaxEase, property owners will pay taxes to the Cincinnati company instead of the treasurer’s office and would have an additional six months before the company could initiated a foreclosure proceeding.

“(TaxEase) is allowed to extend the contract period that I am not allowed to do by law,” Burcham said. “They have agreed not to proceed with any foreclosure sale for 18 months.”

Under an individual tax lien sale, the party buying the tax lien can foreclose after 12 months.

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