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More liens offered for TaxEase to buy

If a Cincinnati-based property tax lender purchases close to 500 tax liens, almost $2 million in back taxes will go back into the county’s coffers.

TaxEase has been offered the opportunity to buy tax liens on 446 parcels that currently have $1,832,355.56 in back taxes, fees and assessments.

“All of these taxes were at least two years old and these individuals or companies have gotten four tax bills and two letters from us to get them to pay their taxes,” Stephen Burcham, county treasurer, said.

Five years ago the county treasurer started the tax lien sales where individuals or companies could purchase the liens with the eventual possibility of owning the property through foreclosure.

Of those liens that were not purchased during the sale, a portion was then offered to TaxEase through a negotiated sale. At that time there were 200 liens offered to the company with 75 purchased by TaxEase.

“We didn’t offer as many,” Burcham said. “We wanted to test the waters to see how TaxEase was going to do.”

TaxEase has the right to reject any liens, especially those on vacant lots or abandoned property.

If the company were to purchase all 446 liens, it would pay to the county all the back taxes and delinquent assessments.

“They are reviewing that list and we expect to hear back from them on Oct. 3 and closing on that day or the following week,” Burcham said. “Hopefully they will purchase the vast majority.”

Of the 75 liens purchased during the first offering 11 taxpayers have redeemed their property after paying the taxes to TaxEase and 42 of those are under contract to TaxEase to pay the back taxes.

“They report to us,” Burcham said. “We want to maintain oversight and see people are treated accordance to the contract terms.”

After anyone purchases a tax lien, they can, after a year, start foreclosure proceedings either through the county prosecutor or a private attorney. That will be done for a fee that takes care of the title search. Then a court action is filed and a judge, after hearing the evidence, can set a sale date.

The opening bid starts with the investment, plus interest, the lienholder has in the property and the lienholder can outbid any others interested in the property. The property is offered for sale twice, and if no one bids on the property, the sheriff offers a title to the lienholder.

However, if TaxEase purchases the lien, the foreclosure would not start until 18 months at the earliest. The tax lien expires in six years from date of purchase.